MOSCOW — Usain Bolt stumbled on the track, even almost fell down. Don’t worry, everybody, it wasn’t in the race.
No, this near tumble happened in the middle of his celebratory dance, when a barefooted Bolt hammed it up after winning a third gold medal on the last day of the world track and field championships.
He even tossed his spikes into the crowd. And why not? He certainly didn’t need them anymore. His work was finished.
In the very last race of the championships Sunday, Bolt grabbed the gold-colored baton for his anchor leg of the 4-x-100-meter relay and churned toward the finish line, huffing and puffing to generate more speed.
Not that he needed it.
‘‘For me, my aim is to continue hard [toward] the greatness thing,’’ said Bolt, whose team finished in a world-leading time of 37.36 seconds. ‘‘Continue dominating.’’
Oh, he did that all right, winning gold in the 100, 200, and relay. With that, Bolt became the most decorated athlete in world championship history with eight golds and two silvers, moving past Carl Lewis (8 golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and Michael Johnson (8 golds).
‘‘It’s not just about the talent, it’s about rising to the occasion. He understands what that means,’’ said Justin Gatlin, who anchored the US team to a silver medal despite momentarily stepping outside his lane.
Overshadowed by Bolt was the performance of teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who also won three sprinting events. She finished it by breaking away from the field in the 4 x 100, easily beating an American squad that struggled to get the baton around — again.
Originally finishing third after a bad exchange, the Americans were later bumped up to second after France was disqualified.
The United States won an impressive 25 medals. But only six of them were gold as Russia had seven, making it the first time the United States failed to at least tie for the gold-medal lead since the first world championships in Helsinki 30 years ago.
In other finals:
■ Asbel Kiprop of Kenya defended his title in the 1,500, beating American Matthew Centrowitz by a half-second. Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic champion, surged ahead in the home straight and crossed in 3:36.28. Centrowitz clocked 3:36.78 for silver; his father, Matt, never got a chance in this stadium due to a US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics;
■ Christina Obergfoell of Germany won her first major javelin title. Obergfoell, 31, threw 226 feet, 6 inches on her second attempt;
■ Teddy Tamgho of France won the triple jump, edging Cuba’s Pedro Pichardo and Will Claye of the United States. Tamgho made the difference on his last jump when he leapt 59-2¼ for gold;
■ Eunice Sum of Kenya held off Olympic champion Mariya Savinova to win the women’s 800 in 1:57.38. Brenda Martinez of the United States took bronze in 1:57.91.