MOSCOW, Russia — The strains of the Jamaican National Anthem should still be ringing in the ears of the thousands who attended yesterday's final session of the 14th IAAF World Championships inside the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow. The anthem was played three times in close succession as the Jamaicans ended the championships in a blaze of glory with two sprint relay victories.
In addition to the relay medal ceremonies, the medals for the men's 200m, from a day earlier, that saw both Bolt and Warren Weir take gold and silver were also presented.
The women's 4x100-m team of Carrie Russell, Kerron Stewart, Schillonie Calvert and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce managed to overshadow the all-conquering men's team with a magnificent National Record and Championships Record of41.29 seconds, bettered only by the United States' World Record 40.82 seconds set last year at the London Olympic Games, and beating the one-year-old Jamaican 41.41 seconds record also set in London last year.
The previous Championship Record was 41.47 seconds set in Athens, Greece, in 1997.
The men's team of Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nickel Ashmeade and Usain Bolt won in a world leading 37.37 seconds as Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt, who anchored their respective relay teams, both won a third gold medal at the championships.
Jamaica finished with nine medals — six gold, two silver and a bronze — the total matching the haul from Daegu, South Korea, two years ago. Jamaica finished third in the medal tables from 33 countries that won medals of the 206 territories that took part in the nine-day extravaganza.
Hosts Russia topped the medals tabled with seven golds in their total of 17 while the USA won the most, 25.
Yesterday's unexpected win by the women's team was the third time in the history of the World Championships, adding to gold medals won in 1991 in Tokyo, thanks to an outstanding anchor leg run from Merlene Ottey and again in 2009 in Berlin, Germany, and was the 13th medal being won by Jamaica in the event in its 14 stagings.
Russell, though she did not make the team in an individual category, gave the team a strong start, while the veteran Stewart then handed over to Calvert, who while the American team were having issues handling their batons, made a smooth change to Fraser-Pryce who streaked away from the pack to win by 1.44 seconds the largest-margin ever in the history of the championships, and it was the first time that the champion would win by over a full second.
Sherri-Ann Brooks a 100m semi-finalist had anchored the team in the first round which, Jamaica won in 41.87 seconds beating France and Holland to the line.
The USA, who finished third in 42.75 seconds, were promoted to the silver after France, who crossed the line second were disqualified —after being presented with the medal — with Great Britain promoted to third place.
With the absence of Veronica Campbell Brown and Sherone Simpson and an injury to Anniesha McLaughlin in the semi-finals of the 200m earlier in the week, the Jamaican team was not expected to come away with gold.
The United States, which won just one relay gold medal here, also had their issues, which were compounded by the absence of Allyson Felix — who was injured in the final of the 200m — and 100m bronze medallist Carmelita Jeter.
It was, however, business as usual for the men, as they racked up the fifth straight win in a major global championship and third straight at the World Championships despite — the changing of the faces with Bailey-Cole and Ashmeade running in the final for the first time.
Bolt replaced Oshane Bailey, who anchored the team in the first round, while Ashmeade, who had two close misses in the individual 100m and 200m, replaced Warren Weir on the third leg.
In post-race interviews, American Justin Gatlin told reporters he thought they had a chance to win the gold medal but for a fumble with the baton.
When this was related to Bolt he said "he couldn't have said that", adding that the USA team had at best a two metres lead and would have had to have a 10 metres lead to have any hopes of winning.
Reminded that he lost to Gatlin earlier in the season, Bolt dismissed that, explaining that then he was just getting back to fitness following an injury lay-off and said "in the relays I am different, they couldn't have won".
The Jamaican team also had their share of baton mishaps, but Bolt said: "Jamaica is a great team and we can afford to have mishaps and still win the relays."
Despite problems with their baton changes, both in the first round and the finals, the USA held on for silver in 37.66 seconds, while Great Britain who had crossed the line third was later disqualified and Canada promoted to the bronze place position after running 37.92 seconds — their fastest time in 16 years.