American Men Placed for Silver in 4x100-Meters while the Woman Win Gold
By: Natalie Wu
In the World Championships, another American men’s relay was suffered from a butchered handoff exchange. Canada ended up winning gold in 37.48 seconds, U.S. settled for silver in 37.55 seconds, and Britain finished third with 37.83 second. The U.S. team consisted of Christian Coleman, Noah Lyles, Elijah Hall, and Marvin Bracy. The home crowd held their breath hoping that no mistake would be made this year, as it has become quite common for the American Men’s relay teams to make one.
The race was going well for the American Men until the final handoff from Elijah Hall to Marvin Bracy. Elijah Hall struggled to get baton to the anchor leg1 Marvin Bracy, and Hall had fallen over right after making the pass. Hall said he would need to look back at the recording to see what went wrong during the handoff. “It’s bittersweet. When you sweep the 100 and the 200, you expect to come out here and perform better,” Bracy commented. Even though the U.S. relay team was running without 100-meter world champion Fred Kerley, they were still four of the ten fastest men in the world, and they were expected to take gold.
The U.S. placing second was more disappointing because it happened just moments after the U.S. Women’s 4x100 relay took Gold with the fastest time ran on American soil. The team consisted of Melissa Jefferson, Abby Steiner, Jenna Prandini, and Twanisha Terry. They got the baton around the track without any interruptions in 41.14 seconds, the third fastest time ever. ‘TeeTee’ Terry commented, “you could have the four fastest women, but if you don’t have chemistry and the baton doesn’t move through the exchange zone, then what are you doing?” While the Women are usually not favored in the 4x100, they have been thriving at global championships and Olympics. An article from The New York Times notes “Saturday night’s win was the U.S. women’s second 4x100 world title in the last three championship years, and the team has won gold in the event at two of the last three Olympic Games.” The U.S. men on the other hand haven’t won a Olympic gold in the 4x100 since 2000, and in the five world championships between 2007 and 2019.
Last summer’s Olympics were even more embarrassing for the Men, as there was no dropped baton or illegal handoff. They just didn’t get the baton around quick enough.
Anchor Leg: Terminology for the 4th runner in a 4x100 relay. Usually, the fastest and more experienced out of the four people.