Olympic track and field legend Carl Lewis told CNBC that he was “100 percent” on his criticism of Team USA’s 4X100m relay after finishing sixth in the semifinals on Thursday and not voting for that Could qualify for the final.
He stressed, however, that his anger was not directed against the athletes, but against the US relay program that brings the teams together.
“The federation sets up the teams, the coaches and the system, and they fail the athletes,” said Lewis, who won two 4×100 Olympic gold medals and seven other gold medals.
“That’s why I was so emotional and angry because these athletes work their whole lives, they run fast and they do whatever it takes to make the team and then you put them in a position where it is impossible to be successful. “
The Americans Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie were eliminated from the tournament as China, Canada, Italy, Germany and Ghana qualified. Lewis told The News with Shepard Smith that he spoke to one of the athletes on the American team who also expressed his frustration with the current system.
“They are frustrated because it’s the same, wrong, wrong system and making the same mistakes, and it’s like why don’t we change the system and put the other system that is successful and let some people help us with it.” set up? on so we can have the chance, “said Lewis.
The US has not won the men’s 4 x 100 meter relay since 2000 in Sydney.
Lewis told host Shepard Smith that the issue boils down to the lives of athletes and that he will always stand up for them.
“My passion is to support the lives of athletes and these athletes work their whole lives to be Olympic champions and you know what, the United States is the best team in the world for the relay, no question about it, but we don’t “Even on the starting line,” said Lewis.
USA Track and Field, the national governing body, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.