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> US men's relay team suffer similarfate than Bejing

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post Aug 22 2009, 02:17 PM
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BERLIN (AP)—Soon after turning in the fastest time, the United States was disqualified from the 400-meter men’s relay at the world championships Friday for passing the baton outside the zone.

The botched race follows the fumbled the exchange at the Beijing Olympics last summer.

The United States’ appeal, citing inconclusive video footage, was rejected.

“The team has been disqualified,” IAAF spokeswoman Anna Legnani said. “The jury of appeal has upheld the decision.”

With memories of Beijing still fresh, the relay team took a cautious approach, making slow and safe exchanges. The final pass, however, between Shawn Crawford and Darvis Patton was determined to have come outside the zone.

Patton was part of the blown exchange in Beijing, along with Tyson Gay, who didn’t run Friday because of a groin injury.

Before the disqualification, the U.S. was in line for a showdown in the finals with Usain Bolt and the Jamaicans on Saturday.

“My thing is safe baton passes in the semis,” Crawford said moments after the race. “When it comes to the finals, just let it all out.”

After the race, Patton said he doesn’t give the bad exchange from Beijing a moment’s thought. Running the anchor leg Friday, he grabbed the baton and simply took off.

“If you dwell on the past, I think it can hamper your progress,” Patton said.

The exchange between Patton and Crawford wasn’t even the dicey one.

That was the pass from Mike Rodgers to Crawford. Crawford slowed way down, making sure he had a firm grip before taking off.

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