The 30-year-old had taken the baton for Jamaica a few metres adrift of the two leaders when, straining hard to catch them, he stopped abruptly with cramp in his left hamstring, began hobbling and tumbled to a halt after a forward roll.

As Britain went on to win gold, Bolt lay on his back in his lane, his head in hands, being tended to by medics as one waited with a wheelchair to help push him off the track.

His team mate, Yohan Blake and American Justin Gatlin both believe Bolt’s cramping was due to the athletes being made to wait for too long in the stadium and their muscles started to get cold.

Gatlin added that it shouldn’t take anything away from Bolt’s career.

Elsewhere, Tori Bowie celebrated her second gold medal of the championships as the United States won the women’s 4×100-metre relay gold. Britain claimed silver while Jamaica got bronze.

Elsewhere, Mo Farah’s aura of invincibility after six years of unrelenting success was finally cracked in his very last major track race as he lost his world 5,000 meters title to Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris.

Seeking a fitting end to his matchless long-distance racing career before moving to marathon running, the 34-year-old Briton’s bid for a fifth straight global 10,000/5,000m double was scuppered as he had to settle for the silver.

Farah said he was sad but acknowledged a better man won on the day. Farah had won the 10,000-metre gold on August 4 and he admitted he wasn’t sure what shape he was in coming into Saturday’s race after picking up an injury in the 10k.

The other big story of the night was Australia’s Sally Pearson who completed one of the great sporting comebacks when she overcame two years of injury agony to win the world 100-metre hurdles title at the age of 30.

Pearson, world champion in 2011 and Olympic gold medalist in London in 2012 and with Olympic and world silvers to her name, held off Dawn Harper-Nelson, one of four Americans in the field, for an emotional triumph.

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