U.S. men miss 4x100m final in latest relay disaster

U.S. anchor Cravon Gillespie finishes behind Germany, Italy and China in the first round of the men's 4x100m relay.
U.S. anchor Cravon Gillespie finishes behind Germany, Italy and China in the first round of the men's 4x100m relay.

FULL RESULTS

The world champion United States men's 4x100m relay team will not compete for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics after failing to advance as one of eight teams to the final out of Thursday's preliminary heats.

The U.S. team of Trayvon BromellFred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie finished sixth in the second of two heats in 38.10, falling two hundredths of a second short of the final.

Disappointment in the 4x1 relay is a familiar feeling for Team USA, despite hopes that a 2019 World Championships gold medal had finally exorcised the Americans' relay demons which have existed for well over a decade.

The team had a first-round baton drop at the 2008 Olympics, a first-round illegal handoff at 2009 Worlds, a fall in the final at 2011 Worlds, a retroactive anti-doping medal strip at the 2012 Olympics, a mishandled pass in final at 2013 Worlds, an illegal handoff in final at 2015 Worlds and an illegal handoff in final at 2016 Olympics.

Baton handoffs were not the issue this time. The foursome simply was not quick enough to the line, finishing behind Italy (featuring newly-crowned 100m gold medalist Marcell Jacobs), Germany and Ghana in addition to medal contenders China and Canada.