Olympic icon Carl Lewis savagely rips Team USA's 'unacceptable' men's relay performance

·3 min read
Carl Lewis did not hold back with his criticism for the U.S. 4x100m relay team. (Photos via Getty)
Carl Lewis did not hold back with his criticism for the U.S. 4x100m relay team. (Photos via Getty)

Nine-time Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis had some choice words for the USA men’s 4x100-metre relay team that failed to make the final.

Despite coming into Tokyo with three of the world’s fastest runners — Trayvon Bromell, Ronnie Baker, and 100-metre silver medallist Fred Kerley — the team finished sixth in its semifinal heat and missed out on the final by 0.02 seconds, largely due to their atrocious passing of the baton. Although Lewis was quick to point out some more flaws.

“The USA team did everything wrong in the men's relay,” Lewis wrote on Twitter. “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.”

Maybe they should’ve used some stimulants to help their chances. Surely that could’ve helped them make up the lost time, right Carl?

And Lewis, who’s had no shortage of controversy in his illustrious career, wasn’t even done there. He continued eviscerating the runners in an interview with USA Today after the race.

“This was a football coach taking a team to the Super Bowl and losing 99-0 because they were completely ill-prepared,” he said.

“It’s unacceptable. It’s so disheartening to see this because it’s people’s lives. We’re just playing games with people’s lives. That’s why I’m so upset. It’s totally avoidable. And America is sitting there rooting for the United States and then they have this clown show. I can’t take it anymore. It’s just unacceptable. It is not hard to do the relay.”

As a two-time Olympic 4x100-metre relay gold medallist who anchored Team USA on both occasions, Lewis would know.

The American men’s 4x100-metre relay team has been somewhat cursed since winning at 15 of 18 Olympics they entered from 1920 to 2000. They narrowly lost out to Great Britain in 2004, then in 2008 they dropped the baton. They earned silver in 2012 only to have the medal stripped due to a positive drug test, and in 2016 they finished but were then disqualified for a changeover offence — Canada won bronze instead.

The current Canadian team, led by the latest gold medallist Andre De Grasse, is off to the final at 9:50 a.m. ET on Friday.

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