Carl Lewis Berates 'Total Embarrassment' USA Olympic Men's 4x100m Relay Showing

Sprinting legend Carl Lewis lambasted Team USA for doing "everything wrong" as they failed to reach the final of the 4x100m men's relay at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Americans finished sixth-fastest in their semifinal on Thursday and will not compete in an Olympic final for the first time since the 2008 Games in Beijing.

China was a surprised winner, followed by Canada and Italy, who featured the recently crowned 100m Olympic champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs.

Germany and Ghana also finished ahead of the U.S., who missed out on a spot as the second fastest loser by just two hundredths of a second after stopping the clock at 38.10.

A botched second handover all but ended American hopes as by the time Ronnie Baker managed to grab the baton from Fred Kerley, the latter was almost alongside him and the momentum had gone.

Lewis, who won gold in the 4x100m as he anchored the team at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and eight years later in Barcelona, delivered a scathing verdict.

The USA team did everything wrong in the men's relay. The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs, and it was clear that there was no leadership. It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU kids I saw .

— Carl Lewis (@Carl_Lewis) August 5, 2021

"The USA team did everything wrong in the men's relay," the 10-time Olympic medalist wrote on Twitter.

"The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs, and it was clear that there was no leadership. It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU kids I saw."

On paper at least, the USA team looked well poised to end a two-decade wait for an Olympic gold. Baker and Kerley both featured in the 100m final with the latter winning silver in a personal best time.

Trayvon Bromell, the fastest man in the world this year, ran the opening leg while Cravon Gillespie anchored the team.

Cravon Gillespie of Team USA
Cravon Gillespie of Team USA reacts after coming in sixth in round one of the men's 4x100m relay heat on day 13 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 5 in Tokyo, Japan. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Gillespie ran the heats when the U.S. won the gold medal at the 2019 World Championships but his inclusion ahead of Kenny Bednarek or Noah Lyles, who finished second and third in the 200m respectively, was controversial.

One of track and field superpowers, Team USA won the event in 15 of 18 Olympics between 1920 and 2000, but the gold medal has proved elusive ever since.

At the 2004 Olympics in Athens they were beaten to the line by Britain, while four years later in Beijing they dropped the baton. They claimed silver at the 2012 Olympics in London but were eventually stripped of the medal after Tyson Gay failed an anti-doping test.

Five years ago in Rio they finished third only to be disqualified because of a handover offence.

"I'm honestly kind of mad, not at these guys, they did what they could do," Bromell told NBC after the race.

"I did what I can do. I can really just speak for myself in a sense. Like I said, these guys did their job, I did what I could do. On the first leg, it just—it's really some B.S. for real, to be honest with you."