Former American Gold Medalist Slams “Embarrassing and Ridiculous” USA Relay Team After Tokyo Olympics Failure

Published 08/06/2021, 6:15 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s 100m – Semifinal- OLS – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 1, 2021. Trayvon Bromell of the United States after the race REUTERS/Andrew Boyers


Team USA’s track athletes came to the Tokyo Olympics carrying high expectations. One category in which many fancied them to do well was the men’s 4x100m relay. The team comprised Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker, and Cravon Gillespie.

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However, they suffered a shock exit in the heats by finishing sixth. Former Olympian Michael Johnson took to Twitter to criticize their performance after a costly error saw them bow out of the competition.

Michael Johnson calls out Team USA for poor baton exchange during Tokyo Olympics

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During his career, the 53-year-old won four gold medals. In the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he became the only man in athletics history to win gold medals in the 200m and 400m category in the same edition of the Games.

The former American sprinter also has an Olympic gold medal in relay racing, winning the 4x400m relay in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. In addition, Johnson also has eight gold medals in the World Championships, making him one of the most decorated American sprinters of all time.

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At the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, Team USA fielded one of their strongest relay teams in the men’s 100m category. Although Bromell didn’t make the men’s 100m final, Kelsey clinched silver earlier this week. Despite their impressive statistics, a poor changeover between Kerley and Baker saw the USA fall behind. They finished sixth in the heat to see themselves eliminated.

After the race, many questioned them about how much they practiced before the event. Although they didn’t give definite answers, Johnson believes passing the baton needs practice.

He tweetedThis isn’t rocket science. Trying to get two people running full speed to exchange a baton within a 20 meter zone requires practice! Especially when you haven’t won this event since Sydney 2000 due to drops and zone violations! Embarrassing and ridiculous.”

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Men’s 4x100m relay final will take place today

Eight of the fastest teams in Tokyo will go for gold in the men’s 4x100m relay final today. The final takes place at 10:50 pm local time.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s 4 x 100m Relay – Round 1 – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 5, 2021. Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy in action REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

Among those eight teams, Jamaica and Great Britain now look like the favorites heading into the Olympic Stadium. However, another winner apart from these two countries may not come as much of a surprise.

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Sanket Nair

624 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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