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Why did the US men's track team epically fail at the Tokyo Olympics? See if they could have had a better showing if the games took place in 2020.

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Olympian calls his former team a “clown show”

COVID has really messed up what was supposed to be the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Now, however, things are just bad in 2021. Athletes are testing positive for COVID. No one is watching the games. Do we need to go on about how much this was just a bad idea? Yes, it was just a truly bad idea. Now, teams that would once win their designated events are absolutely getting crushed.

What do we mean by this? How has the former 2020 Tokyo Olympics crashed & burned even harder? Well, it’s time we talk about the U.S. Men’s track team because, oh boy, they apparently dropped that ball real hard here, people. Like bad enough that former Olympians have been shading them in. How badly did this team fail? Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What’s the deal with the U.S. Men’s track team? 

Apparently, if you’re the sort to follow track & field events, then you would know that male American runners usually score at least one gold model in the events. It’s just how things go here. But, for the first time in Olympic history, the male Americans performance did not go up to par. The highest that any runner nabbed for the Olympics this year was a silver medal.

And, well, the team was favored to win multiple events. According to people who know about this sort of thing, it was a great team. Of course, well, everyone can have a bad day. And a silver medal at the Olympics is really nothing to sneeze at either, but, when your team consistently nabs at least one gold? Well, being the team that doesn’t get any is not good.

The U.S. came in last for the 800m race. Noah Lyles, a World Champion, scored a bronze in the 200m event. Grant Holloway, 110m, and Rai Benjamin, 400m, both were able to get silver medals for their respective events, despite being the ones favored to win. Some, like 2016 Olympic gold medalist, Matthew Centrowitz, 1500m, did not even advance to their events finals. 

Armchair coaching? 

Naturally, former American track runners are not particularly impressed by the Tokyo 2020 (2021) Olympic track team. After the team came in sixth for the 4×100 relay on Thursday, August 5th, track legends Carl Lewis & Michael Johnson took to social media to slam the leadership of the track team. Honestly, there’s probably a documentary in the making here. Something had to be going on behind the scenes, right?

Lewis tweeted, “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.” In an interview with USA Today, Lewis also referred to the team as “clown show”. 

Johnson was a little kinder in his words. He said that the relay race was “embarrassing and ridiculous”. Well, it’s better than being referred to as a bunch of clowns, you know? 

So is there any explanation here? 

Basically, several factors could be pointed at in terms of why the U.S. men’s track team bombed like it did. For one, a pre-Olympic training camp was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, meaning less practice together as a group. There was also a short time period between getting on the Olympic team and actually competing in the Games. Because, again, the Tokyo Olympics was a bad idea.

Matthew Cherry, who placed fourth in the 400m, said of his team’s performance, “We haven’t been here that long, we got here on short notice. Every other team had training camp, but that’s no excuse. We are still expected to come out here and execute how we are supposed to. it’s just not happening right now.” He also pointed out the relative youth of the team as well as a potential factor. 

Of course, this also just the men’s track team. The U.S. women’s? They picked up two golds. So, you know, show ‘em how it’s done, ladies. 

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