Road To The Olympic Games

Track and Field

Canadian men win bronze, Usain Bolt anchors Jamaica to gold

Canada's men's relay team won bronze at the world track and field championships in the 4x100-metre race after Great Britain disqualified in Moscow. The bronze is Canada's fifth medal at the event, the most successful in the country's history at the world championships.

4x100-metre relay medal is Canada's 5th, the country's most ever at world championships

Canada's bronze medalists Gavin Smellie, Aaron Brown, Dontae Richards-Kwok and Justyn Warner pose on the podium during the men's 4x100 metres relay final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on Sunday. (Yuri Kadobnov/Getty Images)

Circumstance robbed Canada of a bronze medal one year ago at the London Games. On Sunday, the medal and a measure of vindication came back to the team.

Canada's men's relay team won bronze at the world track and field championships in the 4x100-metre race after Great Britain disqualified in Moscow.

The victory helped provide some closure for Justyn Warner and Gavin Smellie, who were both on the relay team that lost a bronze medal to disqualification in 2012.

The bronze is Canada's fifth medal at the event, the most successful in the country's history at the world championships.

"I'm so ecstatic, especially thinking back to last year and what happened," said Smellie. "To come back and get bronze, I'm just so happy. We competed to the best of our ability and we leave here with a bronze medal.

"This isn't just for us, it's for everybody, we're going to take these medals home and show them to our families, share them with all of Canada."

4x100 UK men DQ'ed officially. Canada gets a break after last year in London.

Warner, from Markham, Ont., Dontae Richards-Kwok of Mississauga, Ont., and Toronto natives Smellie and Aaron Kingsley Brown finished third in 37.92 seconds behind first-place Jamaica (37.36) and the United States (37.66).

Great Britain was disqualified when race footage appeared to show the team complete their second baton exchange well outside the zone. Canada launched an appeal and won to move into third.

"This is huge, Great Britain are a great team, but I'm happy for us," said Warner. "Overwhelmed we did it, we put all the work together. I'm at a loss for words and just so happy. Rules are rules, we dealt with it last year. Canada again ... is one of the top teams."

"We did it, to run what we ran and not be there the first time around was really hard to take," said Richards-Kwok. "We did everything we could. We really wanted to come out and get it done, and we did."

Bolt makes history

Usain Bolt meanwhile is perfect yet again, and with three gold medals in Moscow, the Jamaican great became the most successful athlete in the 30-year history of the world championships.

The 4x100-metre relay gold erased the memories of the 100 title he missed out on in South Korea two years ago because of a false start. And, in combination with a similar 100-200-4x100 triple from Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Bolt was instrumental in giving Jamaica the first ever sweep in those six sprint events.

Bolt was trailing American Justin Gatlin when he got the baton on the anchor leg, but a botched U.S. handover and his superlative speed were enough to see him, and his country, win.

He gritted his teeth, dipped at the line, and then grinned.

"I wasn't really worried about Justin. I knew if he got the baton in front of me, I could catch him," Bolt said. "So it was just going out there to run as fast as possible."

And when he does, nobody has stopped him when it mattered — in a half decade, and counting.

"It's not just about the talent. It's about rising to the occasion. He understands what that means," Gatlin said.

Bolt had already won the 100 and 200 metres. It was his second such sprint triple at the world championships, matching the two he has won at the Olympics.

With his victory, Bolt moved to the top of the all-time world championships medals table with eight gold and two silver, edging Carl Lewis, who has eight gold, one silver and one bronze.

"It is just great," Bolt said of the comparison. "I'll continue dominating. I'll continue to work hard. For me, my aim is to continue hard into the greatness thing."

And again the Luzhniki Stadium and its 40,000 fans were turned into a Bolt party.

With palpable relief after a week of all-business during his earlier races, Bolt finally let go. His arms across his chest, he kicked his legs as he went down lower and lower to imitate a traditional eastern European dance to the delight of the crowd.

"I'm not even sure which country it's from. It just went along with the music, so I did it," Bolt said.

Jamaican women also dominant

Twenty minutes earlier, Fraser-Pryce became the first woman in world championship history to sweep the sprint events, anchoring Jamaica to gold in the 4x100 relay.

Unlike Bolt, Fraser-Pryce got the baton with a big lead. With her pink hair extensions swaying in the air behind her, she kept on building on it to cross in a championship record of 41.29 seconds.

Canada's team of Crystal Emmanuel of York, Ont., Shai-Anne Davis of Richmond, B.C., Kimberly Hyacinthe of Lachenaie, Que., and Khamica Bingham of Caledon, Ont., combined to finish sixth.

Lost in the excitement and a string of upsets was that the United States failed to lead the gold medal standings for the first time since the inaugural world championships in Helsinki 30 years ago.

Instead, Russia topped the table with seven gold, edging the United States and Jamaica with six. In the overall standings, the U.S. team dominated with 25, holding a wide lead over the host nation with 17.

With a middle distance double on Sunday, Kenya secured African domination over neighbour and rival Ethiopia.

Defending champ Asbel Kiprop takes 1,500m

Asbel Kiprop of Kenya successfully defended his 1,500 title, trailing teammate Nixon Chepseba for most of the race before emerging into the finishing straight with a devastating kick no one could match.

Matthew Centrowitz of the United States took silver in the hectic sprint finish, just ahead of Johan Cronje of South Africa.

And Eunice Sum won her first major title when she held off Olympic champion Mariya Savinova of Russia at the end to win the women's 800.

Russia hoped it would win another gold in the women's javelin, but defending champion Maria Abakumova disappointed with bronze. Instead, Christina Obergfoell of Germany won her first major javelin title at 31, beating Kimberley Mickle of Australia.

France's Teddy Tamgho wins men's triple jump

The string of upsets continued in the men's triple jump, where Olympic and defending champion Christian Taylor of the United States finished only fourth. Teddy Tamgho of France edged Pedro Pichardo of Cuba for gold.

Tamgho and Pichardo were even at 17.68 metres late in the contest but Tamgho made the difference on his last jump when he leapt 18.04 for his first world title.

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