A flubbed final handover cost the United States gold in the men’s 4×100 metres relay on Saturday as Canada surged down the final straight to take the world title.
The Americans looked set to retain their crown until the last changeover between Elijah Hall and Marvin Bracy, who lost time with a slow exchange.
Canadian anchor Andre De Grasse did not waste the opportunity and passed Bracy on the final leg, crossing the finish in 37.48seconds.
“We did it with the same guys I have been growing up together within the sport, said Brendon Rodney, who helped Canada collect bronze in Rio and silver in Tokyo. “No words can explain.”
Britain took bronze in 37.83.
It was a phenomenal final push from De Grasse, the Olympic 200m champion who suffered an early season foot injury and was off the track during a crucial training period due to COVID-19 ahead of the worlds.
He withdrew from the 200m earlier in the meet and failed to qualify for the 100m final.
“We spoke about last year and what a great shot we had at being on top of the podium,” he said.
“We were able to practice the relay more. We had that team chemistry. It’s special to win here. There are many Canadians cheering us on. It’s not on home soil, but it felt like it.”
De Grasse, Rodney, Aaron Brown and Jerome Blake were all smiles as the smattering of fans who stayed behind at Hayward Field for the medal ceremony belted out the first few lines of the Canadian national anthem.
It was the first world gold in the event for Canada since 1997.
The United States (37.55) stuck to the same lineup from Friday’s semi-final and got off to a strong start from Doha 100m champion Christian Coleman, who executed a serviceable handover to Noah Lyles.
Bracy attempted to recover the lost time from the final pass of the baton but the United States once again fell short.
“Not being clean cost us the race,” Bracy tweeted. “No excuses. We let y’all down my apologies.”
Despite their depth of sprinting talent American teams have won only three world titles since 2001 and failed to top the podium at the Olympics since Sydney.