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Associated Press, Published August 11 2012

Bolt, Jamaica top US in world-record fashion

LONDON – Be it a gold medal or a souvenir from a record relay run, Usain Bolt always gets what he wants at the Olympics.

The Jamaican will leave London a perfect 3 for 3 – three events, three victories – just the way he departed Beijing four years ago.

Almost even with the last U.S. runner when he got the baton for the anchor leg of the 400 meters, Bolt steadily pulled away down the stretch, gritting his teeth and leaning at the line to cap his perfect Summer Games by leading Jamaica to victory in a world-record 36.84 seconds Saturday night.

“A wonderful end to a wonderful week,” Bolt said. “What else do I need to do to prove myself as a legend?”

After crossing the line, he pleaded with an official to let him keep the yellow baton he was clutching. Told he’d be disqualified if he didn’t hand it over, Bolt complied, and some nearby spectators booed. About 40 minutes later, that same official approached Bolt and returned the stick. Bolt responded with a bow of thanks and a chuckle, kissed the baton – and then asked his teammates to autograph it.

One more possession to help him remember his performances at 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium, where any mention of Bolt’s name drew raucous cheers, countless camera flashes and chants of “Usain!” or “We want Bolt!”

He reiterated that this could be it for him on track and field’s biggest stage. Bolt turns 26 on Aug. 21, and refuses to commit to showing up at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“It’s going to be hard to really do that. I’ve done all I want to do,” said Bolt, noting that he planned to go out on the town Saturday night. “I’ve got no more goals.”

Bolt added the relay gold to the ones he earned in the 100 in 9.63 seconds last Sunday – the second-fastest time in history – and the 200 in 19.32 on Thursday. The runner-up in both individual sprints, Bolt’s pal and training partner Yohan Blake, ran the third leg of the relay, following Nesta Carter and Michael Frater.

The U.S. quartet of Trell Kimmons, 100 bronze medalist Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey got the silver in 37.04, equaling the old record that Bolt helped set at last year’s world championships. Trinidad & Tobago took the bronze in 38.12. Canada, which was third across the line, was disqualified for running outside its lane, and its appeal was rejected.

As Blake and Gay rounded the race’s final curve, they were pretty much in sync, stride for stride.

But when that duo was done, the relay came down to Bolt vs. Bailey, who was fifth in the 100 meters in 9.88.

Really not a fair matchup.

“It was over from there,” Blake said.