The United States will re-run for a spot in the women’s 4×100-meter relay final on Thursday, following a botched handover between Allyson Felix and English Gardner on the far side of the track during a preliminary heat.
Felix seemed to stumble as she entered the exchange zone 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 head in desperation as Felix went to pick up the baton and hand it over.
The U.S. team finished the heat in last place. The Dutch team was also out.
The International Association of Athletics Federations said the U.S. will need to run faster than 42.70 to bump China from the final.
After the heat, the U.S. claimed Felix was bumped by a rival runner just ahead of a botched handover. Replays showed how Felix lost balance just before the handover.
“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.”
Added Gardner: “We’re just gonna regroup, get ourselves together and go out and be able to compete in the final.”
At the 2012 Olympics in London, the Americans won the 4×100-meter relay gold medal in an Olympic-record 40.82 seconds.
ESPN’s Bonnie Ford and The Associated Press contributed to this report