2020 Tokyo Olympics: Team USA Wins Bronze in Historic First-Ever 4x400m Mixed Track Relay

by Madison Miller

The Olympic Games are in full swing. This year’s Olympics in Tokyo feature some all-new sports and events for athletes all over the world to compete in.

For example, the Games this year included four new sports — skateboarding, surfing, karate, and sports climbing. In addition to new sport additions, certain previous sports have added new events for athletes to take part in.

For track and field, there was a mixed-gender 4×400-meter relay added to the Olympics this year. It was previously a part of the World Athletics Championships but has never been included at the Games until this year.

Today, Team USA triumphed in the new event getting the Olympic spotlight. The team ended up earning the bronze medal with a time of 3:10:22. They finished behind the Dominican Republic, which earned the silver, and Poland, who ran away with the gold medal at the event. Given the fact that it’s a new event, Poland has now set an Olympic record.

Representing Team USA in the event were Trevor Stewart, Kendall Ellis, Vernon Norwood, and Kaylin Whitney. Luckily, Team USA was able to come back and place in the event after initially being disqualified. Elija Godwin and Lynna Irby happened to pass the baton outside of the official designated passing zone.

This original team had come in first during the preliminary heats prior to the finals. However, the Olympics allow a change in the roster between rounds. They appealed the disqualification and were eventually allowed back into the final round.

As is the case for each day at the Olympics, every single day has historic qualities.

Track and Field at the Olympics

Sha’Carri Richardson, an Olympic athlete that was controversially disqualified from competing this year after a positive marijuana test, tweeted amidst the relay drama. She said quite simply, “Missing me yet?” Richardson had also won the 100-meter race at the U.S. trials.

Instead, Jamaican runner Elaine Thomspon-Herah ran an amazing race for the 100-meter gold this morning. There are several more track and field events happening that will go into the next week of the Games.

It’s a major win for Team USA. At the time of this article, the U.S. has 46 total medals, which includes 16 gold medals.

There is a wave of mixed team sports showing up at the Olympics in the past few years. According to Sports Illustrated, some of these new events like the 4×100-meter medley in swimming, the mixed team triathlon, the mixed team judo, and the mixed team trap shooting events all started this year.

These are five new events in which men and women are competing side-by-side. It’s a movement toward more equality in sports as well as an opportunity to really see the best of the best compete with one another.