The United States qualified fastest for the final of the women’s 4×100 metres relay after seizing their second chance when running on their own in the Olympic Stadium.
It looked to all be over as Allyson Felix and English Gardner botched their baton exchange in their heat, earning the team a disqualification.
The team protested the result on the grounds that Felix had been knocked off course by a Brazilian runner, which caused her to drop the baton during the second handover.
In an unprecedented move for the Olympics, athletics world governing body the IAAF found in their favour, and asked the team to re-run the race.
The Brazilian team were disqualified.
Jury of Appeal Decision
There will be a re-run for the USA at 8pm local time.
Obstructed at second exchange pic.twitter.com/leFPceLTTc
— IAAF (@iaaforg) August 18, 2016
Tianna Bartoletta, Felix, Gardner and Morolake Akinosun needed 42.70 to qualify for the finals with no opposition to strive against, as they turned up at the empty track.
#USA women's 4x100m relay team will do a re run by themselves .to qualify for final
Never ever seen this before #Athletics
7 empty lanes
— George Bakhos (@GeorgeBakhos) August 18, 2016
However, they turned it on, running a cool 41.77 to coast into the finals.
The lane selection may not be the one they wanted, but Gardner is optimistic.
“We’ll just get out there and perform,” she said. “If we run the time that we know we can run we’ll be perfectly fine.”