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Bolt sprints into history books as U.S. snares more medals

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Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates victory after the Men's 4 x 100m Relay Final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — If it was indeed the final event of Usain Bolt’s Olympic career, then he’s going out a winner.

Bolt turned a close 4×100 relay race against Japan and the United States into a runaway as Jamaica crossed the line in 37.27 to win gold at the Rio Games. That leaves Bolt with an unprecedented nine golds in nine career Olympic races, including victories in the 200 and 100 this week.

Bolt has said the relay would be the final event of his Olympic career.

Japan won the silver medal, finishing .33 seconds behind Jamaica. The United States finished third but was disqualified because leadoff runner Mike Rodgers passed the baton to Justin Gatlin outside the exchange zone. The error made Canada the bronze-medal winner.

Also in Rio:

— The U.S. women have retained the 4×100-meter relay title, just a day after they needed a solo rerun to qualify. The Americans won the final in 41.01 seconds, giving Allyson Felix her record fifth Olympic gold medal in women’s track and field. The team got a chance to compete only after it was granted the rerun following a protest. The Americans dropped the baton in the preliminaries but proved that they were bumped on the hand-off.

— Connor Fields is the first American to win gold in BMX cycling after finishing first in 34.622 seconds. Fellow American Nic Long just missed out on winning the bronze. Alise Post took silver in the women’s BMX, finishing behind Colombia’s Mariana Pajon.

— Sandy Morris of the U.S. picked up silver in the women’s pole vault, ending up just behind Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece. American Jenn Suhr dropped out of medal contention when she failed to clear 4.70 meters. Her husband and coach said Suhr had been sick and was coughing up blood before the final.

— Ashleigh Johnson made nine saves and Kiley Neushul scored three goals on four shots to lead the U.S. women’s water polo team to a 12-5 rout of Italy and its second straight Olympic gold medal. Makenzie Fischer and Rachel Fattal each had two goals for the Americans, who stretched their win streak to 22 games and outscored their opponents 73-32 at Rio.

— Klay Thompson scored 22 points and the U.S. men’s basketball team advanced to the gold-medal game by beating Spain 82-76. Kevin Durant added 14 points and Kyrie Irving had 13 for the Americans, while Pau Gasol scored 23 points for Spain. The Yanks will take on Serbia for gold on Sunday.

— U.S. middleweight boxer Claressa Shields won a unanimous decision to advance to the gold-medal bout. Shields hasn’t lost a fight since before the London Olympics, where she was the surprise gold medalist.

— Germany has won its first gold medal in women’s soccer by defeating Sweden 2-1. The Germans took a 2-0 lead on an own goal in the 62nd minute and hung on after the Swedes scored five minutes later. Germany had previously won three bronze medals, and Sweden had never reached an Olympic podium.

— Defending Olympic and world champion Jordan Burroughs lost in the quarterfinals of men’s freestyle wrestling. The loss was just his third in international competition and ends Burroughs’ quest to become the fourth U.S. wrestler with multiple Olympic golds.

— The U.S. men’s volleyball team is now relegated to the bronze medal match following a five-set loss to Italy in the semifinals. The Italians also ousted the American squad at the London Games four years ago.

— Chloe Esposito has claimed Australia’s first medal in modern pentathlon, capturing gold in an Olympic record of 1,372 points.

— Korean Inbee Park remains the leader through three rounds of the women’s golf tournament. Park was 1-under 70 for a two-stroke lead over American Gerina Piller and Lydia Ko of New Zealand. Ko made the first hole-in-one of her career as she raced into contention with a 65.

— A silver medalist in the 4×100 relay is one of three Russian athletes who have been disqualified after retesting of doping samples. And Russia was stripped of another track-and-field medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics after three athletes were retroactively caught in drug tests. Those are the latest blows to a country reeling from scandals over widespread doping.