Team USA’s men’s track team had a devastating relay flop at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but sprinter Fred Kerley has an important message four “couch sitters.” In the relay, multiple factors went wrong that caused the US Men’s team to place in 6th place causing them to miss the final.
Kerley has specifically faced a lot of heat for his performance for his failed handoff to Ronnie Baker. Kerley and Baker nearly collided before Baker finally got a grip. Out of all the mistakes made during that race, that’s been widely viewed by experts as the most consequential.
“Internet coaches. Couch sitters and people that would never make a ncaa why are you talking. Bless y’all heart,” Kerley tweeted on August 5th. The incredibly high pressure that comes with the Olympics can often cause athletes to make devastating mistakes.
For many, things look a lot easier at home.
This marks the 20-year point since the US men’s team has won a gold medal in this relay race.
Olympic Medalist Carl Lewis Criticized Team USA’s Performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Not all critics were couch sitters, however. One former Olympian, 9-time gold medalist Carl Lewis had some serious criticism for the team on Twitter.
“The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay,” Lewis wrote. “The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs, and it was clear that there was no leadership. It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU kids I saw.”
On top of this, members of the team are also disappointed in what transpired.
“I’m honestly kind of mad, not at these guys, they did what they could do,” Bromell said in a statement. “I did what I can do. I can really just speak for myself in a sense. Like I said, these guys did their job, I did what I could do. On the first leg, it just — it’s really some BS for real, to be honest with you.”
Part of the reason that the team may have been so out of sync is that they had a lot more time to practice their individual runs, but couldn’t practice the relay as much due to COVID-19 precautions.
“Trying to time that up perfectly with a couple of practices is a little difficult, but it is what it is,” Baker admitted after the race. All the US Men’s Olympic team can do now is grow and learn from this and hope to perform far better in future relays.
And as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics draw to a close, sights are now set on Paris in 2024. Hopefully, track and field fans can celebrate a win from the US men’s team next time around.