Watch: USA Women run solo 4x100 relay race to qualify for final

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The crowd inside the Rio Olympic Stadium were treated to a rather unique 'race' on Thursday night as the Team USA 4x100m relay team sprinted around the track on their own to secure a place in Saturday's final.

Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix, English Gardner and Morolake Akinosun had the track to themselves after a dramatic series of events earlier in the evening left the American quartet racing against only the clock.

The heavy favourite to win Gold in the event had to cross the line in under 42.70 seconds if they were to qualify for the final. Scroll down to see what must surely be a first in Olympics history.


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As you can see, the American quartet actually ended up posting the fastest time of all the nations competing in the semi-finals despite the frankly bizarre circumstances of their race.

And, after a dramatic few hours earlier in the day, they must have been breathing a huge sigh of relief when they finally added their name to the list of finalists.


The unique situation - never seen before on the Olympics stage - came about after Team USA had dropped the baton in the semi-final earlier on Thursday when the experienced Felix failed to connect with Gardner.

At the time, commentators were bemused to see the Americans finish the race anyway, a full 25 seconds or so behind the other nations.

However, video evidence then showed that Felix had been bumped by a Brazilian runner, causing her to be put off her stride and botch the handover.

Inevitably, this led to an appeal from Team USA and, after several hours, Brazil were disqualified and the U.S. were given one last chance to qualify in the form of the odd-looking solo relay run above.

“It was a practice, just with the whole word watching,” said Gardner.

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Team USA Olympics
Justin Gatlin
Team GB
Commonwealth Games
Usain Bolt
Mo Farah

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