Voorhees, New Jersey’s English Gardner reached back for the baton during Thursday morning’s Women’s 4x100-Meter Relay in Rio but there was no baton.
It appeared a Brazilian runner in the adjacent lane contacted star United States sprinter Allyson Felix causing Felix to lose her grip on the baton and fumble the exchange with Gardner. Luckily, for the U.S. runners, they got a second shot at making the final and put up the best time.
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Felix seemed to stumble and could not catch third runner Gardner, flipping the baton in desperation. It hit the ground as Gardner and Felix crashed into each other. Gardner held her hand in desperation as Felix went to pick up the baton and hand it over. [[390576101, C]]
Felix urged Gardner to pick up the baton, run her leg and hand it off to Marolake Akinosun who finished the race.
"I got bumped coming into the exchange zone and it completely threw me off balance," said Felix. "I tried to hold it together to get to English. Maybe if I had one more step I could've, but I was falling."
The United States was given an extra shot to qualify for the final of the 4x100 after the team successfully protested that Felix had been bumped just ahead of a botched handover. [[390559041, C]]
The IAAF said the U.S. team would be allowed to run on their own in the evening session. The U.S. sprinted to an unofficial top time of 41.77 to qualify for Friday's final. China's relay team was bumped from the final.