The U.S. men failed to advance to the final of the 4×100 relay in track and field at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, extending a long string of failure in an event they used to own.
The team of Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie finished sixth in the second heat of qualifying, done in by a series of bad exchanges that resulted in a time of 38.10 seconds.
“We’ve definitely got to pick it up for the worlds next year, and the next Olympics, because this is unacceptable,” Gillespie said afterwards.
Added Kerley: “We just didn’t get the job done today. No excuses.”
This marks the 10th time since 1995 that the men have botched a relay at a world championships or Olympics. They were disqualified for a faulty exchange five years ago in Rio de Janeiro.
When asked what happened on the exchanges, Baker said: “We are all running fast right now. Fred [Kerley] is running 9.8 and I am running 9.8. Trying to time that up perfectly with a couple of practices is tough.”
The U.S. women made it through with a second-place finish in their heat. They’ll race for the gold medal Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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