BEIJING – In yet another mind-boggling display of speed, Usain Bolt set another world record and won another Olympic gold medal, and this time he shared the glory with his Jamaican teammates.
Bolt and Asafa Powell blew away the field over the last two legs of the 400-meter relay Friday night, leading Jamaica around the track in 37.10 seconds to break the 16-year-old world record by 0.3 second.
Bolt is now 3-for-3 in these Olympic sprints — as in three gold medals and three world records.
The bonus is that he got to bring Powell along for the ride. Powell held the world record in the 100-meter dash for about three years before Bolt broke it in May, but he is also well known for his history of poor performances in the biggest meets.
In this one, he got to do the honors, running the anchor leg, taking a clean handoff from Bolt and crossing the line almost a full second ahead of Trinidad and Tobago's Richard Thompson to secure his first Olympic medal. The official margin of victory, 0.96, was the biggest in the Olympics since 1936.
Japan finished third. The United States didn't qualify after dropping the baton in qualifying.
America's absence from this race because of the baton mishap eliminated any real competition for the Jamaicans. But even had Tyson Gay and Co. been on the track, it's hard to imagine anyone beating a team with Bolt and Powell.
The record beats a mark first set by an American team featuring Carl Lewis and Leroy Burrell at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and tied at the world championships a year later.
It was still a race after Nesta Carter and Michael Frater completed the first two legs. But moments after Frater handed off to Bolt, the race became a rout. And when Bolt handed off to Powell, Powell's quest became very much like Bolt's was two nights previous in the 200 — not simply to win, but to own a slice of history.
Just like Bolt did when he ran 19.30 in the 200 to break Michael Johnson's record, Powell ran hard, all the way through the finish, dipping his chest at the line.
The 37.10 came up and Powell was greeted by Bolt. They hugged and found some Jamaican flags to wear around their shoulders as the familiar reggae music filled the Bird's Nest.
While Bolt finished a perfect Olympics with the relay, the Jamaican women fell one race short of only the second 6-for-6 sweep by any country in Olympic sprint history — and only because they beat themselves.
Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart botched the handoff between the second and third legs and Jamaica didn't finish the race won by Russia. Still, nobody beat the Jamaicans in any sprint they finished at these games.
Counting a gold in the women's 400 hurdles, Jamaica has six gold medals with one day left. That's one more than the United States, which won its fifth when Bryan Clay wrapped up the decathlon title moments before the men's relay.
The United States, meanwhile, went 0-for-6 in sprints for the first time ever. The women's team also dropped the baton in qualifying.
In other action, Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia completed an unprecedented women's distance double by adding the 5,000 meters to her 10K victory.
In the long jump, Maurren Higa Maggi of Brazil won with a leap of 23 feet, 1 1/4 inches. The silver medal went to Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia and the bronze to Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, who only got into the final when Ukraine's Lyudmila Blonska was kicked out of the Olympics for doping.
"I could not believe that I was out, and when I heard last night I was in the final, it was my time," Okagbare said.
Before the long jump, Blonska won silver in the heptathlon. Her removal gives that to American Hyleas Fountain, with Russia's Tatiana Chernova moving from fourth to bronze.