Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis attacked the US men’s relay performance as a “total embarrassment.” The American track and field legend blamed poor leadership and coaching for the sixth-place finish in the semifinal at the Tokyo Olympics.
The men’s 4×100 relay team looked as if they hadn’t practiced during the qualifying stage on Wednesday. If you ask Carl Lewis, that is. During the second exchange runner Ronnie Baker reached back and grabbed teammate Fred Kerley’s jersey instead of the baton. He missed the exchange on his second attempt until, finally, Kerley shoved it into his hands.
Lewis, who is now a track and field coach at his alma mater University of Houston, tweeted that the Americans “did everything wrong.” And he blasted the team for its seeming lack of preparation.
Trayvon Bromell, one of the fastest men in the world, ran the first leg of the race and called the team’s performance “BS.”
“I’m honestly kind of mad, not at these guys, they did what they could do,” Bromell said, according to Fox News. “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.”
Though, the result shouldn’t come as a shock. America hasn’t medaled in the 4×100 relay since 2004 when the team took silver. However, they used to dominate the event in each Olympics. Since the 1912 Olympics, America has medaled in the 4×100 men’s relay race 17 times, far more than any other country in the world.
The team won silver in 2012, but the Olympic committee took the medal away after one of the runners, Tyson Gay, tested positive for a banned substance, Yahoo said. The team was disqualified at the 2016 Rio Olympics after a mistime baton handoff.
Scorching Temperatures Plague Olympics
Heat and lack of shade have plagued outdoor events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It was so hot on Wednesday that Olympic workers had to wear gloves to protect their hands when moving the wooden starting blocks.
Temperatures have been in the 90s all week, causing sprinters to have to wear ice vests to cool off after races.
Canadian decathlete Damian Warner told CNN called the ice vests a lifesaver. He added that this is by far the hottest Olympics he’s ever participated in.
“It is hot out there, and for shot put there was no shade, so this was huge,” Warner said. “Having one of these and an umbrella kept us as cool as possible.”
American golfer Nelly Korda said she felt lightheaded as the heat index hit 111 degrees Wednesday.
“I think the mental aspect is probably the hardest just because you have to keep yourself hydrated and you kind of lose it a little out there,” Korda told USA Today. “When I was teeing up some balls, I definitely felt a little lightheaded. But I kept myself in it and made sure I drank a lot of electrolytes, too.”