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Jamaica sets world record in 4x100 relay

Jamaica set a new world record in the men's 4x100 sprint relay late in Day 14 at the Beijing Olympics.

Russia wins women's relay

Jamaica set a new world record in the men's 4x100 sprint relay late in Day 14 at the Beijing Olympics.

Asafa Powell ran a sizzling anchor leg to put Jamaica across the finish line in 37.10 seconds.

Nesta Carter led off, followed by Michael Frater and Usain Bolt. It was the first Olympic gold medal in the event for Jamaica. 
Asafa Powell heads home to give Jamaica the win in the men's sprint relay at the Beijing Olympics on Friday. ((Michael Steele/Getty Images))

"I said to Asafa, 'Can we do this?' And he was like, 'Don't worry, man, we got this one,"' Bolt said.

Bolt, who set world records in winning the 100 and 200, will leave Beijing with three gold medals. Powell will get gold after finishing a disappointing fifth in the 100 final.

"I pushed myself to help Usain and his quest for three gold medals," Powell said.

Trinidad and Tobago, featuring 100 silver medallist Richard Thompson and Marc Burns, captured silver in the relay in 38.06 seconds. Japan won bronze in 38.15 seconds.

"We simply couldn't compete," said Burns.

Canada finishes 6th

Canada was sixth in 38.66 seconds. The Canadian team is made up of Toronto's Pierre Browne, Hank Palmer of Pierrefonds, Que., Anson Henry of Pickering, Ont., and Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I.

"I think overall our exchanges were tight — a little bit too tight and a little bit too close, and we didn't get any ground through the [exchange] zones and we needed that," Henry told CBC Sports.

The team improved on their semifinal time, which was 38.77. Brazil and Germany finished ahead of the Canadians

"We were just a little bit conservative," said Connaughton. "[A time of] 38.66 in any other given day is a pretty good time, but not in an Olympic final, so we got some work to do, but this team will be back."

Jamaica won silver at last year's world championsips — without Bolt — behind the United States. The Americans crashed out in the semifinals, with the baton dropped between Darvis Patton and Tyson Gay.

It is the first time since 1912 that the U.S. men's relay team did not advance to the Olympic final.

Nigeria and Great Britain, too, went from strong medal contenders to out in the semifinals due to a disqualification.

Jamaica has won six gold and 10 medals overall in Beijing. It also has teams entered Saturday in the gold-medal finals for the men's and women's 4x400 relays.

The previous mark was 37.40 seconds, set by the U.S. in 1993.

Jamaican women suffer shock loss

Meanwhile, the Jamaican women suffered a shocking defeat in the women's 4x100 sprint relay Friday, missing an exchange to help Russia claim gold. 
Yuliya Chermoshanskaya crosses the finish line to give Russia gold ahead of Belgium in the women's 4x100 women's relay. ((Mark Dadswell/Getty Images))

Jamaica was heavily favoured, featuring team members who won the 100- and 200-metre sprints, but Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart couldn't connect on their exchange. Anchor Veronica Campbell-Brown never got the chance to run.

"I did what I was supposed to do, she did what she was supposed to do," said Stewart. "I guess it wasn't God's will."

Russia took gold in 42.31 seconds. Their team members were Evgeniya Polyakova, Aleksandra Fedoriva, Yulia Guschina and Yuliya Chermoshanskaya.

Russia, with different runners, won silver in the event in Athens behind Jamaica, a team that included Simpson.

Belgium ran 42.54 seconds to win silver in Friday's relay, followed by Nigeria across the line in 43.04 seconds.

Shelly-Ann Fraser had staked the Jamaicans to a lead after the first leg.

Stewart and Campbell-Brown were part of Jamaica's relay team that won silver last year at the world championships in Osaka, Japan, behind the United States.

The Americans crashed out in the semifinals in Beijing, with the baton dropped between Torri Edwards and Lauryn Williams.

It is the first time since 1948 that an American women's team was not competing in the gold-medal final.

With files from the Associated Press