U.S. track and field Olympian Carl Lewis is not holding back when it comes to the U.S. team’s performance in the 4×100-meter semifinals in Tokyo.
Lewis told USA Today on Aug. 5, that Wednesday’s race was an “embarrassment” for the U.S. after the team came in sixth, leaving them out of the relay final.
Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker, and Cravon Gillespie are the names of the four gentlemen who took part in the race. Three of those four have run the fastest times in the world in the 100 meters this year. What set them back Wednesday was their struggle to pass the baton, particularly the second handoff from Kerley to Baker. As Kerley attempted to hand Baker the baton, Baker instead mistakenly grabbed Kerley’s jersey. Baker tried a second time to blindly search for the stick with his hand but was still unsuccessful in retrieving it. The third time, though still a struggle, was a successful pass.
However, the amount of time wasted for Baker to get the baton was the main contributor to the team coming in sixth. The night of the event Lewis took to Twitter to respond. He said, “The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay. 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.”
Lewis, the most decorated U.S. track athlete in history, knows a thing or two about what it takes to win a 4×100 meter relay race. He won a gold medal in the same relay race twice: One at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984 and another in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympic Games.
To USA Today he further explained why he viewed the performance of the U.S. team as “unacceptable.” The 60-year-old said,” It’s so disheartening to see this because it’s people’s lives. We’re just playing games with people’s lives. That’s why I’m so upset. It’s totally avoidable,” said the nine-time Olympic gold medalist. He continued, “And America is sitting there rooting for the United States, and then they have this clown show. I can’t take it anymore. It’s just unacceptable. It is not hard to do the relay.”
The finals for the track and field 4×100-meter relay race will take place on Aug. 6. Teams from China, Canada, and Italy will be competing.
Check out the relay race here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jkfWCBev0E