In an unprecedented occurrence, both the men's and women's track and field Olympic relay teams drop the baton during the anchor leg of the race. First, in the men's 4 x 100 meter relay, Tyson Gay takes off in the last leg with his hand outstretched to receive the baton. Darvis Patton, running furiously in the 3rd leg, misses his hand and drops it! Just like that, the US, who was among the favorites to win the gold medal, is suddenly completely out of it.
Gay, who has already been having a quite disappointing Olympics since he didn't make the finals in the 100 meter men's, can now add this to the pile.
In what can only be described as a nightmarish bit of deja vu, the women's team drops the baton in the exact same leg of the race as Torri Edwards flubs the pass to Lauryn Williams. Unfortunately for the women's team, this is a repeat of what happened to them in Athens, 2004.
While being interviewed after this stunning debacle, Torri Edwards, 3rd leg runner and dropper of the baton was asked what happened. Her response was "Somebody put some voodoo on this US track and field team. I don't know what happened out there". I have to wonder about that myself. Nothing rational can explain just how crazy and unbelievable this entire situation is. As a matter of fact, with the exception of LaShawn Merritt's gold medal win in an American sweep of the 400 meters, and Dawn Harper's win of the women's 100 meter hurdles, the 2008 Beijing Olympics has been one of the worst performances of the US track and field team EVER.
The glorious performances of Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Maurice Green, Flo Jo, and Gail Deavers are distant, wistful memories. Where does the US track and field team go from here? Walking away from this Olympics with so many disappointments, it couldn't possibly get any worse than this.