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Bolt claims another gold; U.S. picks up three more medals

London, England (Sports Network) - The United States won three more medals on the final night of the track and field competition at Olympic Stadium, but once again the story was Usain Bolt.

The Jamaican sprinting star claimed his sixth Olympic medal -- all gold -- by anchoring his country's 400-meter relay team to a world-record time. It was his third gold of the London Games.

For a second straight Olympics, Bolt has claimed three gold medals, repeating the formula from four years ago in Beijing that saw him win the individual 100 and 200m races and 400m relay.

As is often the case with Bolt, he managed to overshadow everything else that happened on the final night of events at London's Olympic Stadium. That included the American women's dominating performance in the 1,600-meter relay and another spectacular distance run by Great Britain's Mo Farah, who won the men's 5,000 after already taking gold in the 10,000 earlier at these games.

The Jamaicans were heavily favored in the 400m relay and not only because Bolt was in their anchor position. Yohan Blake, silver medalist to Bolt in both the 100 and 200 here in London, handed the baton to his compatriot with a lead and Jamaica's national hero finished off the record run by crossing the line at 36.84 seconds.

Bolt also ran the last leg in Beijing to help Jamaica win its first gold in the 400m relay.

The time broke the Jamaicans' own mark of 37.04 seconds, which was set last year and matched Saturday night by the second-place American team.

After the race, Bolt was asked whether he plans on competing four years from now at the Rio de Janeiro Games and he was non-committal.

"I've though about it, I think it's going to be very hard," he mused. "Yohan (Blake) is coming through and I'm sure a lot of other young guys are coming up, so I will see what happens in four years."

Ryan Bailey was in the anchor position for the Americans, but he didn't have much of a chance to run down arguably the greatest sprinter in Olympic history.

The silver-winning American team also included Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay, who was part of the baton drop that cost the U.S. a medal in this relay four years ago in Beijing.

Trinidad and Tobago posted a time of 38.12 seconds for the bronze. Although Canada actually crossed the line before Trinidad, it was ruled that the Canadians made an illegal handoff on the last exchange and their team was disqualified.

Meanwhile, the U.S. women's 1,600m relay team won the lone gold of the Americans' three medals on Saturday by coasting to its fifth straight win in the event.

The American team, anchored by individual 400 champion Sanya Richards-Ross, completed the race in 3 minutes, 16.87 seconds to set a season-best mark. That easily beat Russia's time of 3:20.23, while Jamaica finished .72 seconds later for bronze.

The U.S. team also featured Allyson Felix, DeeDee Trotter and Francena McCorory. Felix was the 200-meter champion here, while Trotter claimed bronze in the 400.

Trotter led off and gave the U.S. a lead it never relinquished.

"We thought it was going to be really tight, but I'm so proud of these girls," said Trotter. "We're a great team."

While the Americans continued a winning streak that began at the 1996 Atlanta Games, the Russians earned their third consecutive silver and Jamaica won its third straight bronze.

Farah joined an exclusive club by winning his second long distance race of the London Games, taking the men's 5,000 meters with another electrifying run in front of the home crowd at Olympic Stadium.

Farah is the only British runner to win an Olympic title in either the 5,000 or 10,000m, and by taking gold in both races this month, he is just the sixth man to pull off the distance double at the same games. Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele was the last to do it four years ago in Beijing, but he finished fourth in the 10,000 earlier in the track and field competition and did not compete in Saturday's distance event.

The reigning world champion in the 5,000, Farah finished with a time of 13:41.66 and fended off a late challenge from Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel, who crossed the line .32 seconds later for silver.

The British runner then fell to the track and did a few sit-ups in front of the elated home crowd. Farah dedicated his two golds to the unborn twin daughters that his wife is due to deliver any day now.

"These two medals are for my two girls who aren't born yet," an elated Farah said. "It could be any day. The doctors said we have 12 days."

Kenya's Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa placed third with a time of 13:42.36, while Bernard Lagat of the United States was .63 seconds behind. American Galen Rupp, silver medalist in the 10,000 at the London Games, was trying to become the first U.S. runner to medal in both 5,000 and 10,000 at same Olympics, but he finished seventh on Saturday.

The other medal for the U.S. came in the women's high jump, as Brigetta Barrett claimed silver behind defending world champion Anna Chicherova of Russia.

Chicherova, who added to the bronze she won four years ago in Beijing, cleared a height of 2.05 meters, while Barrett jumped over 2.03m to grab the United States' first medal in this event since Louise Ritter won gold at the 1988 Seoul Games.

Russia also grabbed bronze thanks to Svetlana Shkolina, who cleared the same height as Barrett but was relegated to bronze for having missed two times before successfully jumping 2.03m.

Also on Saturday evening, Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago won his country's second gold medal at the Olympics, taking the men's javelin event with a national record.

Walcott's throw of 84.58 meters beat Oleksandr Pyatnytsya of the Ukraine by .07m. The only other gold for Trinidad came 36 years ago when Hasely Crawford won the 100 meters at the 1976 Montreal Games.

Finland's Antti Ruuskanen claimed bronze with a throw of 84.12m, while Vitezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic finished in fourth.

Although the track and field competition at the London Games officially ends with the traditional running of Sunday's men's marathon, that event will take place at the Mall and not Olympic Stadium. Marathon runners will pass by famous landmarks like the Tower of London as they fight for the final gold in athletics.

The U.S. does not expect to place a runner on the podium in the marathon, but the Americans are assured of finishing with the most medals in track and field at the London Games.

The Americans have won 29 total medals, including nine gold, to easily take first in that regard over Russia, which has claimed 18. The Russians are only one behind the U.S. for most track and field gold medals, meaning they would need a runner to win the marathon to match the Americans.

08/11 18:09:16 ET


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