Farah became the seventh man to win the long-distance double at the Olympics, placing his name on the list with Emil Zatopek and Lasse Viren, and 59 years after Roger Bannister ran the first four-minute mile, Farah ran his last mile in exactly four minutes.
“It sounded like a football match when someone scores a goal,” said Farah, who trains in Oregon under Alberto Salazar.
The cat-and-mouse game of the 5,000 gave way to the 400 relay, where precision is as important as acceleration on the flying starts.
Jamaica’s Yohan Blake made up his team’s slight deficit on a blistering third leg against Tyson Gay.
U.S. men’s coach Andrew Valmon said the team selected Bailey to run the last leg because he is as tall as Bolt, who is 6-5.
“He’s our Bolt,” Valmon said.
Bailey demurred, saying, “I’m Ryan Bailey.”
Nesta Carter led off for Jamaica against American Trell Kimmons, and Michael Frater, a Boyd Anderson High graduate, ran Jamaica’s second leg against Justin Gatlin.
“It was even all the way around,” Gay said. “When Bolt got the stick, there was nothing we could do about it.”
The U.S. finished in 37.04.
“We put on a great show and broke our American record twice,” Gatlin said. “To leave with a 37.04 — which was the world record last year — proves we are getting our act back.”
Gatlin, the bronze medalist in the men’s 100, wanted to win a medal for Gay, who was fourth in the 100 and distraught afterward.
“I was very upset because I was missing something in my heart with no Olympic medals,” Gay said. “This is a blessing and fills that spot in my heart.”
Bolt didn’t do much of his usual clowning before the race, but during Jamaica’s victory lap, he struck the archer’s pose that is the logo on his clothing line. He embraced fans. He took off his spikes and danced to the Eurthymics’ Sweet Dreams ( Are Made of This).
Blake, nicknamed “The Beast,” made scary faces and said the Jamaicans had dropped from space and were not human.
“To run 36 is not normal,” agreed Carter.
Bolt, 25, was noncommittal about the 2016 Games, but when asked what he would be doing in 10 years, he said: “Hopefully, just chillin’ somewhere. I like to always be relaxing. I’ll make myself some new goals at the end of the season.”
The U.S. women ran the fifth-fastest time in history. DeeDee Trotter, wearing her usual sparkly “war paint,” gave the U.S. a lead it never relinquished with a 50.5-second first lap.
Felix and Francena McCrory widened the gap to three seconds, and Richards-Ross, who has run more sub-50-second 400s than any other woman, blazed to a split of 49.10.
The women credited U.S. coach Amy Deem, who is the University of Miami coach, and relay coach Jon Drummond with preparing them and the world-record-busting 400-relay team to run fast and hold on to the baton.
“There was great energy on this team,” Richards-Ross said. “I told my mom and dad, ‘Something special is going to happen.’ ”
The U.S. track and field team has won 29 medals, one short of its goal.
Injuries in the men’s 400 hurt, but there’s one last shot in the men’s marathon Sunday.