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American women earn gold in 4x100 relay while American men settle for silver

By: Iris Shen

At the world championships this weekend, the US men’s relay team received a silver medal in Saturday’s 4x100-meter run. They finished in 37.55 seconds, just behind Canada, who won gold in 37.48 seconds.

The relay featured four of the ten fastest men in the world this year, and they were expected to take the gold home. The second-place finish was particularly disappointing because it came mere moments after the US women’s 4x100 relay team earned gold.

The team of Melissa Jefferson, Abby Steiner, Jenna Prandini, and Twanisha Terry got the baton around the track without any hiccups in 41.14 seconds, for the third fastest time ever.

While the women’s team was not favored in the 4x100 relay, they have thrived in global championships. 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 US team also finished second behind Jamaica at the season finals of the Olympics.

However, the US men have not won Olympic gold in the event since 2000. In the five world championships since then, they were disqualified twice, didn’t make it to the finish line in 2011 after a collision, and won only two silver medals. At last summer’s Olympics, the team had one of its most embarrassing performances when they failed to make it out of the prelim heats. There were no mistakes like dropped batons or illegal handoffs, they just did not get the baton around the track quickly enough.

“The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay,” Carl Lewis, one of the most decorated American track and field athletes in history, tweeted after the Olympic race.

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