‘Bad Luck’ Follows U.S. Men’s 4×100 Relay Team to Rio

The men’s 4×100 relay was held Friday night and it didn’t end without controversy for the U.S. men’s relay team.

4×100 menThe U.S. 4×100 relay team consisting of Mike Rodgers (lead), Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Trayvon Brommel (anchor); finished third for bronze behind Jamaica (gold) and Japan (silver).

376ab8e100000578-3750044-team_usa_s_tyson_gay_justin_gatlin_and_mike_rodgers_were_capture-a-50_1471665298454After parading around the track with the U.S. flag in celebration of their bronze medal; the team learned of their disqualification; and that Canada would be elevated to third.

The disqualification came from the first exchange between Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin. It was ruled that Rodgers passed the baton to Gatlin outside of the first exchange zone of the relay. Video replay shows there was a clean handoff between Rodgers and Gatlin; however, it does not definitively show whether Gatlin had taken possession of the baton before Rodgers got it inside of the start of the 20-meter passing zone.

Rule 170.07 in the track and field handbook reads: “The baton shall be passed within the takeover zone. The passing of the baton commences when it is first touched by the receiving athlete and is completed the moment it is in the hand of only the receiving athlete. In relation to the takeover zone, it is only the position of the baton which is decisive. Passing of the baton outside the takeover zone shall result in disqualification.”

Tyson Gay, who cost the men’s relay team a silver medal in the 2012 London Games after testing positive for doping, referred to the disqualification as bad luck.

“It’s always something weird, stupid, simple mistakes that always cost us, and I don’t understand,” he said. “We had great sticks in practice, great everything, and something so simple. I can’t say anything but bad luck.

USA Track and Field filed an appeal disputing the disqualification. The appeal was rejected Saturday morning, marking the ninth time since 1995 the U.S. men have been disqualified or failed to get the baton at the Olympics or World Championships.

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