Usain Bolt stars once more as Brits stay rooted


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The Independent Online

The curtain came down on the 2012 Games with Usain Bolt crossing the line out in front for his third gold. It was only right athletics' ultimate showman had the final say inside the same venue as he anchored a Jamaican quartet to victory in the 4x100m relay.

Running under the Racers Track Club banner, where Bolt trains with coach Glenn Mills, they clocked a time of 37.74 seconds, nearly a second off the world record set in London last year.

In contrast, the British contingent fluffed their lines once more, a fumbled changeover meant that once again they failed to make it to the finish line.

Despite the home disappointment, the crowd lapped up Bolt's every move. Awaiting the start, he conducted the crowd like an orchestra but, despite the team nature of the discipline, he was still very much the solo artist.

Where he had been nervous the previous night for the 100m, which he won at a canter despite a dreadful start, yesterday he was the personification of laid back – easy to do when pocketing an estimated £500,000 for what was effectively 20 seconds work over two days.

Following his second victory in as many days, Bolt said: "I always want to run the relay, I really enjoy running the relay, it's brilliant. It's always beautiful and always really wonderful in London, I really enjoy it here. It is just an extremely great stadium and I am happy, I am happy with myself and the run."

As inevitable as the result has become in London when Bolt is racing, there was a similar inevitability to Great Britain's leading quartet of Dwain Chambers, Adam Gemili, James Ellington and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.

James Dadolu was down to be joining them, running the anchor leg against the mighty Bolt, but he pulled out of the 100m on Friday evening with injury and failed to recover in time for the relay. Gemili had been partly responsible when the team were disqualified for failing to make the changeover to Danny Talbot in their heat at the Olympics. In a mirror image of that, the teenager was once more a guilty party in the changeover between him and James Ellington.

Ironically, just a few weeks ago, Gemili had talked about the line-up learning from past mistakes and how they would "show people we can run a successful way".

That may well be the case if the four, who will most likely be boosted by Dasaolu in Moscow, can iron out such mistakes.

Britain's male sprinters have four times messed up in recent major championships. The baton was dropped at the European Championships last year and the team were disqualified at the World Championships in 2011, plus they missed out on a place at the 2010 Europeans because of a fumbled changeover.

With Britain's sprinters once more left scratching their heads, it was left to the star a year ago, Bolt, to delight once more.