U.S. men's 4x100m relay team ends 12-year drought with gold medal performance
Jamaica wins the women's 4x100m relay gold medal
A United States quartet led by Christian Coleman blazed to the 4x100 metres relay title at the world athletics championships on Saturday, clocking the second fastest time ever at 37.10 seconds to end a 12-year gold medal drought.
Coleman, world 100 metres champion, put the Americans ahead with a stunning start and 200 metres gold medallist Noah Lyles completed the job, crossing the line with his arms raised triumphantly in the air as his team mates celebrated wrapped in American flags.
"We were all motivated to do something special and it just happened, everybody wanted it," said Lyles, who will leave his first world championships with double gold.
"We all wanted to break the curse, a generational curse and bring on a new era," he added.
"That is the part that feels the most exciting to think the time we break the curse is the time something great happens.
"Every time you come across in the relay with the USA it is magical, all of a sudden you get this energy to run around the track again."
WATCH | U.S claim gold in men's 4x100m relay:
Japan won bronze with a time of 37.43 seconds, an Asian record.
Joining Coleman and Lyles, the two rising stars on the global sprint scene, were veterans in Justin Gatlin, twice world champion, and 34-year-old Mike Rogers, who had never before stood atop a world championship or Olympic podium.
After a wobbly performance in the heats in which Canada filed a protest against the U.S. for failing to make a proper exchange, the American quartet had a meeting to ensure there were no hiccups in the final.
Victims of sloppy exchanges and dropped batons over the years, the message came through loud and clear as the United States made four clean exchanges in a polished effort to come home just outside Jamaica's world record 36.84.
"We had a meeting in the morning," said Coleman, who also heads home with two golds. "We just got to come together, everybody just got to execute, focus on what they need to do, have an open dialogue about what went wrong in the prelims and what we are going to do better in the final.
"If you never have that conversation then you are just going to go there and you kind of can't expect different results," Coleman added.
"So we just got to talk about what we needed to do and everybody locked in and we got it done."
Jamaica takes gold in women's 4x100m
Jamaica stormed to world championship gold in the women's 4x100 metres relay on Saturday, beating Britain in a battle that featured 100 and 200 metres winners Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Dina Asher-Smith.
Since 2005 the United States and Jamaica have dominated the event at the worlds, with the Americans topping the podium four times, including two years ago in London, and the Jamaicans three.
In Doha, though, the fight for gold came down to Jamaica and Britain, the Caribbean nation returning to the top of the podium with a time of 41.44 seconds.
Britain took silver in 41.85 and the U.S. bronze in 42.10.
In a surprise twist Fraser-Pryce and Asher-Smith, the two sprint stars of the championships, were not given the responsibility of anchoring their teams but instead went head-to-head in the second leg down the back stretch.
Shericka Jackson, bronze medallist in the 400 metres, brought Jamaica home while Daryll Neita anchored Britain.
It was the second gold of the championships for the evergreen Fraser-Pryce, the 32-year-old bringing her haul from six worlds to nine gold medals and two silvers.
WATCH | Jamaican women top the podium in 4x100m relay:
The Jamaican women have taken over the mantle of global sprint superpower from their men and showed the depth of their talent by winning without the services of reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, who was out with injury.
"I am really excited for Team Jamaica and our ladies," said Fraser-Pryce. "I think it speaks volumes especially going into 2020 (Olympics). There is so many things that can happen at a championship, so we want to make sure all our ladies are ready; no matter who you call on we'll be ready."
With the U.S. women sprinters turning in unimpressive results in Doha, Jamaica's biggest threat at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games could very well come from Britain.
Asher-Smith established her credentials as a reliable medal producer by collecting three in Doha — gold in the 200 and silver in the 100 metres and relay.
"It was absolutely fantastic to go and run out there and we are on the best way to Tokyo," said Asher-Smith. "We are ready.
"We worked for this really hard."