BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The American women’s 4×400 relay team was disqualified from the preliminary round at the world championships Saturday after their third and fourth runners in the four-lap race bungled the baton exchange.

Quanera Hayes missed on several attempts to hand the stick to anchor runner Alexis Holmes. When they finally did make the exchange, they were out of the legal passing zone.

It was the latest chapter in a long stretch of problems for Team USA in the relays, though a mishap in the longer relay is relatively rare because none of the runners are going as fast, and there isn’t as much traffic.

With runners such as Allyson Felix, Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad leading the way in recent years, this has been as close to a sure thing as there is for the United States, which has won this race at seven of the last eight worlds.

This year, they won’t even make the final.

The U.S. men and women were due to race in the 4×100 relay later in the evening session.


AP sports: