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U.S. Mixed Relay Team Is Reinstated for 4x400m Olympic Final After Brief Disqualification

·2-min read
4X400 meter mixed first round relay
4X400 meter mixed first round relay

Christian Petersen/Getty

The United States will compete in the 4x400m mixed relay final at the Tokyo Olympics after the team's disqualification was overturned.

On Friday night at Olympic Stadium, Team USA won their qualifying heat for the relay with Elija Godwin, Lynna Irby, Taylor Manson, and Bryce Deadmon. However, the team was disqualified following the race due to an error in the first exchange between Godwin and Irby, where Irby was standing outside the designated zone when the baton was passed.

"Mistakes happen," Godwin told reporters after learning of the disqualification, according to the Washington Post. "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."

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Following the race, retired American sprinter and Olympic medalist Michael Johnson tweeted that he and his fellow BBC Sports commentators thought that officials were the ones who made the error.

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"@TeamUSA Mixed 4x4 relay DQ'd. 2nd runner lined up at the wrong line. Our @BBCSport coverage saw 2 athletes in heat 2 also lined up in the wrong place and corrected themselves last minute. Officials either lined them up wrong or didn't give direction. U.S. should win appeal," he wrote before the decision was overturned.

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Team USA appealed the disqualification and won, announcing the news on social media early Saturday morning.

"The official is supposed to line up the relay athlete up on the correct zone," Irby's personal coach Lance Brauman told the Washington Post. "They didn't do that, which is the mistake of the officials. … It wasn't her fault that they made the mistake, and she ran very well."

The team will now prepare to compete in Saturday's final.

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Allyson Felix is also a member of the mixed relay pool. With the U.S. back in medal contention, Felix — if she runs in the final — still has the chance to break or tie Carl Lewis' record for most Olympic track medals at 10.

This year marks the Olympic debut of the track and field event, which features two men and two women.

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.

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