Athletics: U.S. grasp second chance in 4x100 relay

Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:15pm EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The United States grasped their second chance to reach the Olympic women's 4x100 meters final with both hands on Thursday, racing alone around the Rio track in 41.77 seconds to knock China out of the last eight.

The reigning champions appealed against the result of their morning heat, in which Allyson Felix bungled the second baton exchange, arguing that the four-times Olympic gold medalist had been bumped by a Brazilian athlete before the handover.

The appeal was upheld and the Americans were given a target of beating 42.70 seconds to qualify for the final in place of China, who were the slowest of the original finalists.

The time was easily within the capability of the world record holders and Tianna Bartoletta, Felix, English Gardner and Morolake Akinosun ensured there would be no mistake with the second fastest time of the year.

"Very relieved," Felix told reporters. "I just wasn't sure how a situation like that played out. I have never been in that situation before, but I am happy that we got a shot at it.

"I didn't want to bump anyone out of a slot but then again we were impeded."

The Chinese, who had unsuccessfully appealed against the successful American appeal, will have grounds for feeling hard done by after only being placed eighth behind the Canadians by six thousandths of a second.

The United States will join arch-rivals Jamaica, Britain, Germany, Ukraine, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada in Friday's final.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Preliminary - Women's 4 x 100m Relay Round 1 re-run - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 18/08/2016. Allyson Felix (USA) of USA and Tianna Bartoletta (USA) of USA compete. REUTERS/David Gray