For the first time in decades, Team USA will not compete in the men's 4x100m relay at the Summer Olympic Games. This historic mishap was partially triggered by a poor handoff between Fred Kerley and Ronnie Baker. Despite their missteps, Team USA had an opportunity to sneak into the final with a top-notch performance on the fourth leg, but Ghana outran America by 0.2 seconds. Following his team's disappointing finish, Kerley appeared dejected.
“We just didn’t get the job done today. That’s all,” he said in a post-race interview.
While Kerley and his teammates were visibly frustrated, no one appeared to be more upset than Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis. The two-time 4x100m relay gold medalist took to Twitter to share his frustration.
"The USA team did everything wrong in the men's relay. The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs, and it was clear that there was no leadership. It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU kids I saw," he tweeted.
“It’s unacceptable. It’s so disheartening to see this because it’s people’s lives. We’re just playing games with people’s lives. That’s why I’m so upset. It’s totally avoidable. And America is sitting there rooting for the United States and then they have this clown show. I can’t take it anymore. It’s just unacceptable. It is not hard to do the relay," he added in a USA Today interview.
If there is a silver lining for Team USA, it is this. Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels, English Gardner and Aleia Hobbs guided Team USA to the women's 4x100m final, an event they won in 2016. Adding on, Team USA's poor performance made way for Ghana to advance to the men's 4x100m relay final for the first time.
The women's 4x100m relay final is set to take place on Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. Twenty minutes later, the men's 4x100m relay will take place.