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American Olympic legend Carl Lewis blasted Team USA men’s relay team on Thursday after a messy 4×100-meter baton exchange during the Tokyo Olympics.
U.S. sprinter Ronnie Baker tried to grab the baton on the first exchange but got a handful of Fred Kerley’s uniform instead. Baker whiffed on the second time and on the third Baker used both hands to shove the item into Kerley’s hands.
Lewis, an eight-time Olympic gold medalist, did not mince words expressing his frustrations on Twitter.
“The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay. 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,” Lewis tweeted.
The poor exchange was partly why the U.S. finished in sixth place in the qualifying round and failed at a chance to medal.
“We just didn’t get the job done today. That’s all,” Kerley said after the race.
Trayvon Bromell said he was upset as well.
“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.”
The U.S. hasn’t won gold in the 4×100 at the Olympics since 2000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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