Usain Bolt farewelled the Olympics with a ninth gold medal after anchoring Jamaica to triumph in the men’s 4×100 metres relay in Rio.
Bolt was backing up on Friday (Rio time) a night after completing his third Olympic sprint double and he added another relay gold to those he had won with Jamaica in 2008 (Beijing) and 2102 (London).
He took the baton on the final leg from team-mate Nickel Ashmeade slightly down on Japan anchor Aska Cambridge but he unleashed a powerful display down the front straight to stop the clock in 37.27 seconds.
“I am just relieved, it’s happened,” Bolt said.
“I am just happy, proud of myself. It’s come true. The pressure is real. I look at it as an accomplishment.”
Bolt had a simple message when asked how he would celebrate now his Olympic career is over.
“I’ll stay up late tonight,” he said.
Asafa Powell, who was part of the Beijing victory, and Yohan Blake, a member of winning London quartet, had opened the relay for Jamaica.
Japan did brilliantly to win silver in 37.60 and Canada – with 100m bronze medallist Andre De Grasse running the final leg – was third in 37.64.
United States was disqualified, continuing the poor showing in an event it once dominated.
It last won gold in 2000 at the Sydney Games.
1US women edge out Jamaican in women’s relay
Where the US men failed the women succeeded, with the Americans denying 100m and 200m gold medallist Elaine Thompson a third Rio win.
The US was fortunate to be competing in the final, having been allowed to do a time trial on Thursday following a mishap in the heats earlier in the day.
Long jump gold medallist Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix, English Gardner and 100m runner-up Tori Bowie made the most of the opportunity to beat home Jamaica 41.01 to 41.36.
Even with Thompson running the second leg, poor baton handling meant Jamaica had a lot of work to do by time Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was handed the stick at the third changeover.
By this stage the US had been moving smoothly along and Bowie had enough in the tank to hold off Fraser-Pryce, who was the Rio bronze medallist in the 100m and also a two-time champion of the individual event.
Great Britain made the podium for bronze with a time of 41.77.
For Bartoletta, winning a second gold medal in Rio was a sweet feeling after a lengthy career, which also included a world championship gold in the long jump back in 2005.
“I’m extremely happy,” she said.
“The journey to this point has been tumultuous. It’s special.”
Felix, who claimed silver in the 400m, now has eight Olympic medals to her name, including five gold.
In another gold medal decided on the penultimate night of the track and field program, Dilshod Nazarov of Tajikistan won the men’s hammer throw final with a best performance of 78.68m.