USA sink to 125-year first in embarrassing track flop at Olympics

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Trayvon Bromell, pictured here after failing to advance to the 100m final at the Olympics.
Trayvon Bromell failed to advance to the 100m final at the Olympics. (Photo by Pete Dovgan/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

USA will leave the Tokyo Olympics without a single gold medal in the men's individual short-form track events, the first time they've suffered such a fate in Olympics history.

The US have failed to win gold in the men’s 100m, 200m, 400m, 110m hurdles or 400m hurdles for the very first time in 125 years of participating at the Olympics.

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To be fair they did win silver in four of those events, however they would have expected at least one gold.

Grant Holloway was the strong favourite in the 110m hurdles, but was caught by Jamaica's Hansle Parchment as they went over the final flight of barriers.

Trayvon Bromell came into the Games with the world's fastest 100m time this year, but didn't even make the final.

Rai Benjamin broke the previous world record time in the 400m hurdles, but was blown out of the water by Karsten Warholm and had to settle for silver.

On Thursday, Michael Norman and Michael Cherry both finished outside the medal places in the men's 400m.

They were no match for Stephen Gardiner of the Bahamas, who added the title to his world crown in 2019.

And earlier in the evening session at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium, USA's defending 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz finished outside the qualifying spots for Saturday's final.

It leaves the USA men's team with just three more chances to secure a gold medal in individual events - the longer 1500m, 5000m and marathon.

Grant Holloway, pictured here after winning silver despite being the 110m hurdles favourite.
Grant Holloway had to settle for silver despite being the 110m hurdles favourite. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Field athletes save America's blushes at Olympics

However America's field athletes did win two gold medals on Thursday to spare their track teammates' blushes.

Katie Nageotte won the pole vault to claim the USA's fifth athletics gold of the Games.

And shot put world record holder Ryan Crouser retained his title with an Olympic record 23.30 metres on his final attempt, with teammate Joe Kovacs hurling 22.65m for silver. 

New Zealand's Tomas Walsh took bronze with 22.47m.

But the non-qualification of the USA men's 4x100m relay team caused more heartache for the Americans, with track legend Carl Lewis labelling it a "total embarrassment".

The US quartet of Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie finished sixth in their heat, the first time an American 4x100m squad has failed to make the Olympic final from a completed heat.

Kerley - who took silver in the individual 100m - was terse in his assessment of their performance saying: "We just didn't get the job done today. No excuses."

But Centrowitz refused to accept the team's performance had been underwhelming.

"I think maybe you guys (the media) just took it for granted all those years," said the 31-year-old.

"I don't know what the expectation was. I know we had more medals in 2016, but that's just the way it goes sometimes."

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with AFP

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