Olympics Day 15: Bolt, Jamaica set world record in relay
LONDON (CNN) -- Jamaica's Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake led their team to gold and a new world record in the men's 4x100-meter relay final Saturday night, bringing a thrilling end to competition at the London Olympic Stadium.
The four-man Jamaican team finished in 36.84, with Bolt drawing cheers as he ran the electrifying last leg.
"For me, it's just a wonderful feeling to end on a high note," he told the BBC with a big smile. "I knew it was possible, I wish we could have gone faster, but I guess it leaves room for improvement."
It was the third gold medal of the London Games for Bolt, who already made history at these Olympics by winning back-to-back 100-meter and 200-meter titles.
The U.S. team, which included Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay, came in second with 37.04, matching the previous world record and setting a new national record.
Trinidad & Tobago took the bronze, but only after the Canadian team was disqualified because captain Jared Connaughton stepped out of his lane. Athletics Canada unsuccessfully appealed.
Connaughton later tweeted, "I'm so sorry everyone. My heart is broken. I let my team down. I'm sorry." But head coach Alex Gardiner said an apology wasn't necessary, because Connaughton had given it all he had.
"I feel nothing but overwhelming sadness for these guys. DQ is a hard pill to swallow," Gardiner said, according to Athletics Canada.
Leading up to the men's relay final were three other exciting races.
The United States took home the gold in the women's 4x400-meter relay, following its world-record win in the women's 4x100-meter race Friday.
The team of DeeDee Trotter, Allyson Felix, Francena McCorory, and Sanya Richards-Ross finished nearly four seconds ahead of the Russians. Jamaica won the bronze.
Great Britain's Mo Farah gave the home crowd something to cheer about when he won the men's 5,000-meter race earlier in the evening.
Farah is the 5,000-meter world champion and has now doubled his medal haul from the Games, following his win in the 10,000-meter race a week ago. Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel took silver and Kenya's Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa took bronze in the 5,000-meter.
Also Saturday, South Africa's Caster Semenya, the athlete at the center of a gender row three years ago, won the silver in the women's 800-meter final. She was a favorite going into the race along with Russia's Mariya Savinova, who won the gold; fellow Russian Ekaterina Poistogova won the bronze.
With 32 gold medals up for grabs across 15 sports, it was a busy day outside the stadium, too.
The U.S. women's basketball team won its fifth straight Olympic gold medal when it beat France 86-50 in the North Greenwich Arena along the Thames.
Team USA advanced to the final after beating Australia, winner of the bronze.
The first medal for Team USA on Saturday came in the women's mountain bike competition at Hadleigh Farm in Essex, with a bronze for Georgia Gould of Baltimore. Gold went to France's Julie Bresset and silver to Sabine Spitz from Germany. The venue, which made its Olympic debut Saturday, hosts the men's mountain bike event Sunday.
Brazil beat the United States 3-1 in the women's volleyball final in four sets, setting the gold and silver medals, after Japan took the bronze.
The host of the next summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and a famously soccer-mad nation, Brazil had hoped for its first Olympic football gold in the men's final at Wembley but instead saw Mexico claim a convincing 2-1 victory.
The Brazilians got off to an inauspicious start when they conceded a goal by Mexico's Oribe Peralta in the first minute of the game. Peralta headed the ball in for a crucial second goal with 75 minutes gone.
Brazil came back with a goal in the 90th minute but failed to capitalize on a chance in the final seconds, giving gold to Mexico. Korea took the bronze.
A gold for Russia came in the men's 50-kilometer race walk, which set off on The Mall by Buckingham Palace on Saturday morning.
Just over three-and-a-half hours later, Sergey Kirdyapkin crossed the line first to take gold, ahead of Australian Jared Tallent, who took silver in Beijing, and China's Tianfeng Si.
The field was without Beijing gold-medalist Alex Schwazer, who was expelled from the Games on Friday after testing positive for a banned substance, recombinant erythropoietin (rhEPO), which aids red blood cell production. The 27-year-old Italian had set an Olympic record four years ago, but it was beaten by Kirdyapkin on Saturday.
Another athlete, Syrian hurdler Ghfran Almouhamad, was disqualified from the Games on Saturday, the International Olympic Committee said.
Almouhamad, who went out in the heats of the women's 400-meter hurdles, tested positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine, a stimulant.
Over at the Aquatics Center, Team USA celebrated by jumping into the pool after David Boudia won the gold in the 10-meter platform. China's 19-year-old Qiu Bo, who had entered the final as the favorite, appeared disappointed with his silver while Britain's Tom Daley jumped for joy to win a bronze in front of a home crowd.
Team GB's first gold medal of the day came on the sparkling waters of Eton Dorney Lake, when Ed McKeever won the men's K1 200-meter canoe sprint.
The gold was the 26th for the host nation, which is in third in the medal table, behind the United States and China and ahead of Russia.
Ukraine picked up gold in the men's C1 200-meter canoe sprint, thanks to the paddle power of Yuri Cheban, and silver in the women's canoe spring kayak single K1 200-meter. Lisa Carrington of New Zealand took gold in that event.
Russia's pair stormed through the field to claim victory in the men's K2 200-meter race, the last canoe sprint event and final contest at Eton Dorney, with silver going to Belarus and bronze to Great Britain.
Meanwhile, defending champion Evgeniya Kanaeva claimed gold for Russia in individual all-around rhythmic gymnastics, the final individual gymnastics contest of the Games.
Fellow Russian Daria Dmitrieva took silver and Liubou Charkashyna of Belarus took bronze.
Once the athletics competitions wrap up in the stadium Saturday night, the race will be on for technical crews to transform it for the closing ceremony.
London Games organizers say musical performances will be the focus of the closing ceremony, titled "A Symphony of British Music."
Among the British acts rumored to be taking part are the Spice Girls and the Pet Shop Boys, as well as singers Jessie J. and George Michael and rapper Tinie Tempah.
And like the spectacular opening ceremony just over two weeks ago, which was characterized by a quirky exuberance, the closing will feature thousands of local volunteers and schoolchildren.
The show, attended by many of the 10,500 athletes who competed at the Games, will likely be watched on television by around 750 million people worldwide, the London organizing committee says.
A CNN/ORC poll released Saturday showed that two-thirds of Americans think the London Games have been very successful. Nearly a quarter said they enjoyed watching the Games more than on previous occasions.
The survey of 1,010 Americans was carried out Tuesday and Wednesday.
CNN's Alexander Felton contributed to this report.