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Usain Bolt’s Final Race Ends in a Cry of Pain, and a Whimper

The night began with a disappointment for the hosts, as the British distance star Mo Farah’s 10-final winning streak at global championships ended in the 5,000 meters. Competing in what he said was his last track event before a switch to road racing, Farah could not produce his traditional devastating kick. He finished second behind Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris, and the American Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo won the bronze.

But the men’s relay turned the night around for Britain, and Mitchell-Blake celebrated by sprinting down the track again, this time with the baton between his teeth.

Meanwhile, Bolt’s teammates rushed to help him as he lay on the track in the same stadium where he and his countrymen set the world record in this event, 36.84 seconds, at the 2012 Olympics.


Bolt’s Jamaican relay teammates rushed to check on him after he dropped to the track.

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Kevin Jones, a doctor with the Jamaican team, said his preliminary diagnosis was that Bolt had suffered an acute muscle cramp in his left hamstring, although Jones could not rule out the possibility of a muscle tear.

“I think a lot of the pain was from disappointment,” Jones said, tapping his heart, “from not being able to finish the race. That was the main thing.”

He said that a slight delay at the start of the race — because of the length of two medal ceremonies preceding it — might have contributed to Bolt’s situation.

The Jamaican sprinters said they had been kept too long in the “call room,” the holding area that serves as a way station between the warm-up track and the main stadium.

“Usain was really cold,” Blake said afterward. “In fact, Usain said to me, ‘Yohan, I think this is crazy, 40 minutes and two medal presentations before our run.’”

Omar McLeod, who ran the first leg for the Jamaican…

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