Trayvon Bromell called it “BS.”
Carl Lewis called it “a total embarrassment.”
Whatever you want to call it, the U.S. still can’t find four men who can pass the baton to one another while running as fast as they can.
For the fourth straight Olympics, U.S. men failed to win a medal in an event they once owned. The favored Americans finished sixth in their 4×100-meter relay heat Thursday and failed to qualify for the final largely because Fred Kerley and Ronnie Baker botched the baton pass between the relay’s second and third leg.
The U.S. couldn’t recover despite deploying its three fastest men in the prelims. Bromell owns the top time in the world this year in the 100. Kerley and Baker finished second and fifth, respectively, in the Olympic final. Even Cravon Gillespie, who placed sixth in the 100 at the U.S. Olympic Trials, is the fastest remaining American who didn’t run in the men’s 200 final less than 24 hours earlier.
The problems started for the U.S. on the first leg of the relay when Bromell again failed to recapture his early-season form and got the Americans off to a sluggish start. Bromell, who surprisingly failed to make the finals of the men’s 100 earlier this week, neither gained nor lost any ground on most of the rest of the field during his leg.