Giant on the move
Relay bad mistakes from United States, Britain
On another miserable day for Tyson Gay, the United States failed to make it to the final of the 4×100 metres relay after their latest case of baton bungling.
Britain, the defending Olympic champions, followed them out of the event when a messed up changeover led to their disqualification from a later heat.
The U.S. in particular have been plagued by problems in this area over recent Olympics. You could say they only have themselves to blame but it was impossible not to feel sorry for Gay.
It was his changeover with Darvis Patton that caused all the trouble and it means Gay, the triple world champion, will leave without a medal after failing to reach the 100 metres final, or even qualify to compete in Beijing in the 200.
His disappointment must have been immense but he showed great character in taking responsibility for the mix-up.
”The stick was in my hand,” he said. “I think I felt it hit my hand, but I don’t think it was in all the way before I grabbed. It’s probably my fault. I take the blame for it.”
Nigeria were also eliminated after dropping the baton in heat one, meaning all three the teams on the podium in Athens are out. The night got worse for the Americans when their women’s 4x100m team dropped the baton as well.
PHOTO: Tyson Gay of the U.S. pictured after failing to qualify for the 100m final, August 16, 2008. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn