Through three legs of the men’s 4×100 final the, U.S. was even with Jamaica (which ultimately wouldn’t even matter). But therein lies the problem for the Americans, because when anchor Usain Bolt’s even…you likely know the rest.
WATCH: Bolt gets his ninth Olympic gold medal, U.S. disqualified
Jamaica took gold with a time of 37.27 seconds, winning what was a close race by more than three tenths of a second than silver medalists Japan. With the victory Bolt caps his career “triple-triple,” winning Olympic gold in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay in each of the last three Olympics. With his stating that this will in all likelihood be his final Summer Olympics, that’s a good way to go out.
Japan took silver with a time of 37.60 seconds, and originally the U.S. was in bronze position with a time of 37.62 seconds. But shortly after the race’s conclusion the IAAF ruled that the teams representing the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago were disqualified, with Canada taking bronze as a result.
GATLIN: “I felt it was a clean exchange”
The reason for the U.S. disqualification was the violation of Rule 170.7, which states the following:
“The baton shall be passed within the takeover zone. The passing of the baton commences when it is first touched by the receiving athlete and is completed the moment it is in the hand of only the receiving athlete. In relation to the takeover zone, it is only the position of the baton which is decisive. Passing of the baton outside the takeover zone shall result in disqualification.”
The exchange between Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin was the one deemed to have violated that rule.