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US relay teams drop batons
August 21, 2008 19:45 IST
The U.S. were cruising towards the final when Patton reached Gay for the last changeover but a mix-up ended with the baton tumbling to the rain-soaked track.
On a night of mishaps in the sprint relay heats, Britain's men, surprise winners in Athens four years ago, were disqualified from heat two after a botched changeover.
Nigeria were also eliminated after dropping the baton in heat one, meaning all three the teams on the podium in Athens will take no further part in the event.
The night got worse for the Americans when their women's 4x100m team dropped the baton after a mix-up between the experienced Torri Edwards and Lauryn Williams, also on the third handover.
The U.S. men's quartet were chasing a 16th gold medal in the men's 4x100m relay and were hoping to make up for Athens four years ago when they suffered a rare defeat.
Gay was also bidding to make up for his failure to reach the 100m final.
"I don't know what happened," triple world champion Gay told reporters. "The stick was in my hand. I think I felt it hit my hand, but I don't think it was in all the way before I grabbed. It's probably my fault, I take the blame for it."
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