Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team have blamed organisers for causing the dramatic moment when Usain Bolt fell to the track in his final race – because they believe their “crazy” decision to keep everybody in a freezing call room for more than 40 minutes led to Bolt getting cold.
As Britain’s quartet celebrated a shock gold medal, the Jamaican Yohan Blake, who passed the baton to Bolt, said he was furious at what had happened. “They were holding us too long in the call room,” he said. “Usain was really cold. In fact Usain said to me: ‘Yohan, I think this is crazy. Forty minutes and two medal presentations before our run.’
“We keep warming up and waiting, then warming up and waiting. Then we saw a true legend, a true champion go out there and struggling like that.”
Bolt picked up the baton on the final leg with Jamaica in third place but he barely made it halfway down the track before beginning hopping in agony then collapsing to the floor with cramp in his left hamstring.
Omar McLeod, who led off the Jamaican team, said: “It’s heart-wrenching, I gave it my all and I really wanted Usain to leave golden – even if it was just a medal. It was really heart-wrenching. I couldn’t believe it, I’m in shock, utter disbelief.
“It was ridiculous,” he added. “We were there around 45 minutes waiting outside, I think they had three medal ceremonies before we went out so we were really trying our hardest to stay warm and keep upbeat. But it was ridiculous. We waited a really long time.”
His team-mate Julian Forte was also shocked. “I felt like it happened to me, I was on the corner at the time when it happened, it’s devastating,” he said.
Britain’s men set a national record of 37.47sec to take gold, with the United States second in 37.52 and Japan third in 38.04. Adam Gemili, who proved his fitness beyond doubt after being controversially left out of the individual 200m, called it “the best feeling in the world”.