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A US relay team favored to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics was reinstated after disqualification due to a possible officiating error

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  • Team USA was suspended from the mixed-gender 4x400-meter relay at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday. 

  • But after an official appeal, the IOC reviewed the incident and reinstate the two athletes.

  • Team USA was favored to win gold and finished in first place before the disqualification.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Team USA was disqualified from the mixed-gender 4x400-meter relay at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday because two sprinters made a baton pass outside the designated zone. But after an official appeal, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reinstated the team and kept its gold medal hopes alive.

Elija Godwin and Lynna Irby, competing in their first Olympics, initially performed a baton pass in an unauthorized location, but it was likely do to an officiating error, which is why the IOC reinstated the 22-year-old athletes.

Irby was seen standing outside of the hand-off zone before Godwin reached her. Team USA, which was favored to win gold, finished in first place at the event, but officials announced the disqualification shortly after. 

"Mistakes happen," Godwin said after the event. "We are human. We do make mistakes. If at the end of the day, we DQ'd, I know I'm going to hold my head up high because we went out and competed our best."

Team USA filed an official appeal for the disqualification to the International Olympic Committee shortly after the event, and they it seems to have been paid off. 

Team USA lost its last appeal for an incident similar to this at the 2016 Rio Olympics. American sprinters were disqualified from the men's 4x100 meter relay after leadoff runner Mike Rodgers was ruled to have passed the baton to Justin Gatlin outside the first exchange zone. Usain Bolt of Jamaica ended up winning the race anyway, and Team USA did not win the appeal. 

Four-time Olympic gold winner Michael Johnson took to Twitter shortly after the Friday's event to give his perspective on the mishap and blamed officials for lining Irby up out of place before the race started. 

-Michael Johnson (@MJGold) July 30, 2021

 

Team USA sprinting coach Lance Brauman then expressed the same argument, as he told USA Today that "officials did not line up the second runners correctly."

There have been eight other instances since 1995 of Team USA sprinters getting disqualified or failing to get the baton around at Olympic or World Championship relay events. 

Read the original article on Insider