WATCH: USA Women’s 4×100 Drop Baton After Bump From Brazil

US Women Baton Drop Video

The Team USA 4×100 sprinters were a shoo-in to medal at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, more than likely to win the gold in their event. But disaster struck during Thursday’s qualifiers when the Allyson Felix and English Gardner baton exchange was botched. Americans watching gasped in horror as their gold medal squad was seemingly knocked out of podium contention.

But a closer look reveals that it wasn’t so much botched as it was that a Brazilian runner who wasn’t in her lane bumped into Felix, causing her to stumble. Take a look at the video below, the contact happens just before :10 seconds into the video. The USA is in lane #2 and Brazil is in lane #3. You can clearly see the Brazil runner is out of her lane.

Update: Good news everyone! The USA will rerun their qualifier at 8:00 PM EST for a chance to qualify. They must beat China’s time of 42.70.

#TeamTTO finish 3rd & qualify for final. USA DROP the baton and is OUT as defending champs. Women's 4x100m pic.twitter.com/qk62Xi9pl7

— C Sports (@CSportsLive) August 18, 2016

So now the USA is appealing the decision, but things aren’t looking too good. Here’s Yahoo Sports with the breakdown as to why:

If the appeal fails, the U.S. will be eliminated. If officials determine that there was some sort of foul play — the Brazilian team has already been disqualified, which would seem to be an acknowledgement that there was — they would be presented with a difficult decision. Only eight teams can advance to the final.

In a similar situation in the men’s 4×400-meter relay in 2012, officials allowed nine teams advance to the final due to a protest. A South African runner was tripped by a Kenyan runner during a semifinal heat. The Kenyan team did not qualify for the final, so its disqualification didn’t matter. The South African team was given a ninth spot in the final. But the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Stadium track only has eight lanes.

But of course, none of this matters because unless the United States sends Ryan Lochte back to Brazil, there’s no way the IOC is going to allow the appeal.

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