Photo/IllutrationThe bronze medal-winning Japanese 400-meter relay team of, from left, Kenji Fujimitsu, Yoshihide Kiryu, Shota Iizuka and Shuhei Tada (Ryo Ikeda)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

LONDON--Japan won its first medal in the men's 400-meter relay event at the track and field world championships on Aug. 12, finishing third behind Britain and the United States.

The team of Shuhei Tada, Shota Iizuka, Yoshihide Kiryu and Kenji Fujimitsu crossed the line in a time of 38.04 seconds.

Japan won the silver medal in the event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.

Host nation Britain won the gold medal with a time of 37.47 seconds, while the United States, with 100-meter gold medalist Justin Gatlin, finished 0.05 second behind.

The relay was track legend Usain Bolt's last competitive event, and fans hoped for one final memorable burst of speed. However, the Jamaican superstar pulled up with a leg injury soon after taking the baton and did not finish the race.

In the preliminary heats, Japan finished with the sixth best time of the qualifying teams. The veteran Fujimitsu, 31, was chosen to anchor the relay in the final in place of Aska Cambridge, and that change led to Japan's first-ever relay medal at a world championships.