Eight-time Olympic gold medal winner Carl Lewis has slammed Team USA men’s 4×100 meters relay team following its failure to qualifier for the final of the event on Thursday, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The quartet of Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker, and Cravon Gillespie was expected to sail through the semifinal heat, but that didn’t happen.
Watch Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jkfWCBev0E
A poor baton exchange between Fred Kerley and Ronnie Baker resulted in Team USA losing ground on the leaders and then the situation got even more embarrassing when Gillespie was unable to hold on for a top-three safe spot.
The 2019 world champions faded to sixth place in their qualifying heat behind China, Canada, Italy, Germany, and Ghana, in that order.
In a post on Twitter, Lewis outlined a few of the reasons he thought the team did not qualify for the medal race, revealing that the outcome was “completely unacceptable” and the team “look worse than the AAU kids.”
“The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay,” the American sprint legend tweeted. “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.”
Despite having some of the world’s best sprinters, the U.S. hasn’t won a gold medal in the men’s 4×100 at the Olympics since 2000, which was during the Maurice Greene era.
Mark Lewis Great Britain held off Greene in 2004 and then the Usain Bolt dominance started in 2008 and ran through 2016.
With Bolt now out of the picture, this was the Olympics for Team USA to finally return to the top, but the wait will continue.
“I’m honestly kind of mad, not at these guys, they did what they could do,” Bromell said. “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.”