Reigning world champions Team USA disqualified from inaugural Olympic 4 x 400 meter mixed relay
From CNN’s Aleks Klosok in London and Homero De La Fuente in Atlanta
From left, USA's Taylor Manson, Lynna Irby and Bryce Deadmon look on after the 4 x 400m mixed relay on July 30. (Petr David Josek/AP)
Team USA was disqualified from the inaugural 4 x 400 meter mixed relay on Friday following an erroneous baton changeover in the heats.
The discipline, featuring teams of two men and two women competing against each other in any order they choose, is making its debut at the Games.
The American team, comprising Elija Godwin, Lynna Irby, Taylor Manson and Bryce Deadmon, had been hotly tipped for a medal having won gold at the 2019 world championships.
The American quartet had finished fastest in the first heat but were later disqualified from the event for handing the baton over outside the designated changeover zone.
The team said it didn't have the chance to practice hand-offs due to Covid-19.
"Covid is in play and we do have to be a lot more careful than the year before. But like I said before, we come out and we get as prepared as possible. Mistakes happen. We are human, we can make mistakes, and if at the end of the day we get DQ-ed (disqualified), I’ll hold my head up high, because I know we competed our best. I’m proud of all of our guys and girls,” Godwin said.