Team USA’s women’s relay team will get another shot at competing in the 4x100 final after a devastating disqualification for dropping the baton during the qualifying heat.
The team petitioned for a re-run after runner Allyson Felix claimed that Brazilian sprinter Kauiza Venancio elbowed her while she was passing the baton to her teammate English Gardner, according to Uptown.
“I just felt contact and it tripped me up,” Felix explained to reporters.
The bump interrupted Felix’s handoff thus causing her to try and throw it to her teammate. Unfortunately, Gardner was unable to catch the baton and it fell to the ground — which is an immediate disqualification.
Quick-thinking Felix knew that they could contest the disqualification if they finished the race, so she picked up the baton, told Gardner to keep running, and they finished out the heat in last place.
Video footage from the race shows Venancio getting really close to the U.S. lane. While her feet never seemed to cross the line, her fast pumping arms did appear to get in Felix’s way.
Officials agreed to allow Team USA a second chance and have disqualified the Brazilian team.
The women will re-run the race by themselves on the track. In order to earn a spot in the finals, they will have to beat China’s time of 42.7 seconds which came in eighth place during the qualifier.
It’s understandable why Felix wanted this opportunity for redemption. This is her last chance at a gold medal in this year’s Olympic Games after coming in second in the 400-meter dash when Bahamian runner Shaunae Miller nose-dived her way into first place.
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