'Total embarrassment': USA in 'horrendous' relay drama at Olympics

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USA, pictured here after missing the final in the men's 4x100m relay at the Olympics.
USA missed the final in the men's 4x100m relay at the Olympics. Image: Getty

USA have sensationally missed a spot in the men's 4x100m relay final in a shock boilover at the Olympics that has sparked outrage in America.

The Americans have a history of botching relays on the international stage.

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And it continued at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.

The star-studded team of Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie finished sixth in the second heat of qualifying, done in by a series of bad exchanges that resulted in a time of 38.10 seconds.

Kerley and Baker both made the individual 100m final, Bromell has the world-leading time this year, while Gillespie ran the heats en route to their 2019 world championship title.

But despite the depth of talent on show, a shocking second changeover saw them lose all momentum and Gillespie was unable to run them back into contention in a mass finish.

"The USA really stuffed up their changes," Aussie Olympian Tamsyn Manou said in commentary for Channel 7.

"The third change was just horrendous".

China were the surprise heat winners in 37.92.

Canada were second, two thousandths of a second behind, and Italy, helped by newly-crowned individual champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs, posted a national record 37.95 to also advance.

Jamaica led the way in the other semi, qualifying fastest in 37.82, ahead of Britain (38.02) and Japan (38.16).

China, pictured here winning their 4x100m relay heat as USA missed the final.
China won their 4x100m relay heat as USA missed the final. (Photo by ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP via Getty Images)

After dominating the event for decades, a succession of disqualifications contributed to the US not managing gold since 2000.

This is the latest setback in what has been a below-par performance in Tokyo for the male side of the sport's traditionally most powerful nation.

It marks the 10th time since 1995 that the American men have botched a relay at a world championships or Olympics. 

They were disqualified for a faulty exchange five years ago at the Rio Olympics.

"The USA team did everything wrong in the men's relay," American legend Carl Lewis 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."

America then miss gold in 110m hurdles final

The news got even worse for the US just minutes later when Grant Holloway missed out on gold in the 110m hurdles final.

Holloway surged to the lead and looked destined for gold, but had to settle for silver as Hansle Parchment of Jamaica mowed him down.

Luckily for the US their women's team made it through with a second-place finish in their heat. 

They will race for the gold medal on Friday.

Fans were left in disbelief over the men's relay flop, taking to social media to express their shock.

with agencies

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