US men’s relay team fails to make finals
Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 5, 2021
By EDDIE PELLS
AP National Writer
TOKYO (AP) — A slow exchange left the American 4×100-meter relay team in an all-too-familiar spot at the Olympics on Thursday — out of medal contention.
And this time, not even racing for one.
The team of Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie failed to make the final after finishing sixth in their qualifying heat, extending a quarter-century of misery for the country that brings the deepest track team to the Games.
The United States hasn’t won the Olympic 4×100 since 2000 and hasn’t made it cleanly to the finish line in a final since taking a silver medal in 2012. But they gave that one back because of a doping ban against Tyson Gay.
This marked the first time the U.S. has failed to make the final since 2008, when Gay was involved in a bumbled exchange. The U.S. got DQ’d for another bad pass in the medal race in 2016.
This time, the sprinters made it around the track, but it was ugly.
Finishing the second leg, Kerley repeatedly misconnected with Baker, to the point that they were practically side by side and barely running by the time they exchanged the stick.
Baker made up some ground on a fast-disappearing field and Gillespie tried to close on the anchor leg, but China, Canada and Italy finished 1-2-3 and the rest of the field pulled away, as well.
This marks the 10th time since 1995 that the men have botched a relay at a world championships or Olympics.
The women made it through with a no-drama heat of their own and will race for the medal Friday.
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