Team USA Reinstated for Mixed 4x400 Relay Final After Appealing DQ for Rule Violation

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 30, 2021

Runners compete in a heat of the 4 x 400-meter mixed relay at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Team USA has been reinstated to the 4x400-meter mixed relay at the Tokyo Olympics after initially being disqualified on Friday following a technical violation in the first qualifying heat.

USATF @usatf

BREAKING NEWS: The U.S. 4x400M Mixed Relay team has been reinstated and will compete in Saturday's final.

The DQ came after one of the U.S.' baton handoffs came outside the designated zone.

Chris Chavez @ChrisChavez

The United States mixed 4x400m relay team has been DQ’ed for the handoff coming outside of the zone. They had won the world championship gold medal in this event. The event is making its Olympic debut. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a>

Team USA appealed the ruling, saying race officials told American runner Lynna Irby to stand in the incorrect spot to accept the exchange, per David Woods of the Indianapolis Star.

Irby ran the second leg but wasn't set up in the same position as the other runners in her section of the heat. Elija Godwin, Taylor Manson and Bryce Deadmon were the other U.S. track athletes to take part in the qualifying run.

Belgium, Ireland and Germany qualified for the final from the heat. The U.S.' time (3:11.39) would have ranked first in the race and earned the team a spot in the final.

The mixed relay, which features two men and two women, is making its Olympic debut in Tokyo. Team USA was expected to contend for the top spot on the podium.

Manson was hoping success in the relay could catapult her promising individual career forward, as well.

"Right now it's for the relay, but hopefully like in the future it's for the individual 400," Manson told Gabi Dunham of Fox 47 News in early July.

A successful appeal allows the United States back in the field for the final, which is scheduled to take place Saturday at 9:35 p.m. in Tokyo (8:35 a.m. ET in the U.S.).