Bolt takes his 17th global title to draw level with Carl Lewis as the most successful athlete at the Worlds and Olympics combined

Usain Bolt has taken his third triple at the World Championships as he anchored Jamaica to a comfortable victory in the 4x100m relay in Beijing.

The time of 37.36 for the Jamaican quartet equalled that which gave them gold in Moscow two years ago as they set the equal fifth-best mark in history.

The expected challenge from the United States dissipated on their disastrous last changeover and they were later disqualified, leaving China to take silver in a national record 38.01, while Canada were upgraded to bronze with 38.13. Great Britain were expected to threaten the medal places but failed to get the baton round as CJ Ujah and James Ellington did not connect on the last exchange.

The United States had led for much of the race, due partly to a bad second Jamaican changeover between Asafa Powell and Nickel Ashmeade after Nesta Carter fell behind Trayvon Bromell on the opener. Justin Gatlin, runner-up in both the 100m and 200m, put in a fine second leg for the Americans and handed on to Tyson Gay, who gave them a clear lead going into the straight.

However, it fell apart for the Americans as Mike Rodgers on anchor went off too early and Gay brushed him after they finally passed the baton. This allowed Bolt to sweep past and, although USA crossed the line second, it was no surprise to see their result annulled as they exchanged outside of the allowed zone.

Richard Kilty, Daniel Talbot and Ellington on legs one, two and three respectively, put Britain in third place approaching the final change, but the baton did not make it to Ujah. It means that for the third consecutive world final Britain has had a quartet which failed to get the baton around.

Jamaica have won the 4x100m relay at every world championships since and including 2009, plus the two Olympics. It was revenge for the Caribbean nation, which suffered a rare defeat at the hands of the Americans at the IAAF World Relays in May, as the latter clocked a world lead 37.38.

After earlier this week in the 100m going top of the all-time leaderboard by taking his ninth World Championships gold, Bolt’s 200m and relay successes bring his tally to 11. Added to his six Olympic golds, he draws level with Carl Lewis as the only athletes to have 17 global titles to their name.

The only blip on Bolt’s record is the 2011 World Championships 100m when he suffered a false-start disqualification.

» See the September 3 edition of AW magazine for coverage of the final five days of World Championships action, while the August 27 edition includes reports, results, news, stats and more from the first four days