TOKYO– After a preliminary win and subsequent disqualification, Group USA is back in the mix in the 4×400 mixed-gender relay at the Tokyo Olympics.
The U.S.A. Track & Field revealed early Saturday that the Olympics had restored the relay team after successfully appealing a judgment that had previously knocked it out of the occasion hours. The Americans were initially disqualified for passing the baton outside the designated zone on their first exchange between Elija Godwin and Lynna Irby.
Now, they are back in the final, which will be held Saturday night. And they will again be thought about the favorites.
This is the very first time the mixed-gender relay has been contested at the Olympic Games, part of a more comprehensive initiative by the International Olympic Committee to promote gender equity within its ranks. The occasion has been consisted of in recent world championships, however. The U.S. is the ruling world champion.
Allyson Felix was part of that title-winning team in 2019, and Saturday’s turnaround could prove to be specifically critical for her legacy.
If she is selected to race in the last, she would be in line for her 10th Olympic medal. Among U.S. track and field athletes, only Carl Lewis (11 total medals) has won more.
The choice to reinstate the U.S. relay team capped what were indeed a confusing few hours for its members, all of whom are competing in their first Olympics. Bryce Deadmon, 24, was the veteran of the group that completed Friday.
The sequence in question took place early in the race. Irby appeared to be standing well outside the zone before Godwin got to her, lining up roughly 10 meters from the bulk of the other No. 2 runners in her heat. Irby’s coach Lance Brauman informed IndyStar, which is part of the U.S.A. TODAY Network, the authorities at the track did not line the runners up correctly.
The disqualification came as a surprise to the U.S. relay employee as they walked off the track. Several of them blinked back tears as they spoke to reporters.
” We come out, we try our finest,” Godwin said. “It was a complete surprise us all.
“Next” will now come Saturday night. And it could end with the Americans putting medals around their necks.