Jamaica's victorious quartetin the 4x200m at the IAAF World Relays offer their tribute to Usain Bolt, who withdrew from the race as a precaution after warming up ©Getty Images

The familiar Lightning Bolt salute took place on the podium in Nassau after the second day of the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Relays - but in the form of a tribute from his Jamaican colleagues after their victory in a 4x200m from which the world record holder had withdrawn late as a precaution.

Usain Bolt, who had produced an unofficial world best relay leg of 8.65sec the previous night in his vain attempt to close the lead United States had established in the 4x100m, had warmed up for the heats but withdrew from the team when he felt some tightness in his hamstring.

"It was just a precaution, he ran hard yesterday," said Bolt's manager Ricky Simms.

With their main man Bolt looking on in the Thomas A Robinson stadium, a team anchored by London 2012 bronze medallist Warren Weir came home ahead of a US quartet for whom Justin Gatlin’s final leg turned out to be a wasted effort following an earlier illegal changeover.

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US chances in the 4x200m final at the IAAF/BTC World Relays go west as Isiah Young and Curtis Mitchell drop the baton on the second changeover in the Thomas A Robinson stadium at Nassau ©Getty Images

Despite this disqualification, however, the United States retained their status as overall winners after the second running of this event, earning the Golden Baton after winning seven of the 10 finals at these IAAF/BTC World Relays.

The United States were slightly behind their perennial rivals at the second exchange, but Isiah Young and Curtis Mitchell - who was also involved in the USA’s disqualification in the 2014 4x200m final - fluffed the handover.

Mitchell retrieved the baton from another lane before carrying on running but, having stepped out of the exchange zone, the red flag was raised and disqualification certain.

Jamaica meanwhile, having started at world record pace thanks to Nickel Ashmeade and Rasheed Dwyer, almost came to grief themselves at the same point in the race as Dwyer’s handover to Jason Livermore was fumbled.

The Jamaicans retained their title in 1min 20.97sec, ahead of France in 1:21.49.

The United States crossed the line third but Germany were soon promoted to that position, timed at 1:22.65.

And there was a further salve to Jamaican sprinting pride as the women’s 4x100m quartet beat last year’s winners, the United States, by 42.14sec to 42.32, with double Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown passing Carmelita Jeter halfway down the final straight after they had set off level.

The United States amassed 63 points, three more than in 2014, producing world records in both of the new distance medley events - their men matched the women on the second night, clocking 9min 15.50sec to hold off Kenya by 1.70sec.

After winning three of the four finals on the opening night, the US completed their haul with victories in the women’s 4x800m, where they finished almost 11 seconds clear of Poland, the women’s 4x400m and - most disappointingly for the hosts - in the men’s 4x400m which concluded the competition.

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US runners Molly Beckwith-Ludlow (left), Chanelle Price and Maggie Vessey (left) celebrate after winning the 4x800m by almost 11 seconds ©Getty Images

The latter race, keenly awaited after the narrow US victory over the reigning Olympic champions, raised the noise level in the 15,000-seater stadium to the max. But as in 2014, LaShawn Merritt brought the baton home ahead of The Bahamas’ Chris Brown, who had an insurmountable five metres lead to make up by the time he set off.

The damage to Bahamian hopes was mostly wrought by 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner, who took over a 10 metres lead from second leg runner Tony McQuay, the world silver medallist, was overtaken by home runner Steven Gardiner - generating huge home excitement - but then regained the lead before handing over to Merritt, his successor as Olympic champion.

Brown, the local hero, produced a time of 44.17sec, but it wasn’t enough as Merritt crossed in a 2014 world-leading time of 2min 58.43sec. The Bahamas clocked 2:58.91, with Belgium - comprising the Borlee brothers Dylan, Jonathan and Kevin, plus Julien Watrin - third in a national record of 2:59.33, with former European champion Kevin running 44.01 on the last leg.

A third leg run of 48.79sec by Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross effectively earned a US victory over Jamaica in the 4x400m, giving World indoor champion Francena McCorory a two-seconds lead.

The US team clocked 3min 19.39sec, two seconds faster than their 2014 winning time, with Jamaica second in 3:22.49.

Britain’s Seren Bundy-Davies held off France’s Floria Guei on the last leg, the world bronze medallists finishing just ahead of the European champions, 3:26.38 to 3:26.68, in a final which earned Rio 2016 qualification for all eight entrants.

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