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US to protest after 4×100 relay drama

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 USA's Allyson Felix attempts to hand the baton to English Gardner in the women's 4x100m relay heats in Rio de Janeiro on August 18, 2016. PHOTO/IAAF
USA’s Allyson Felix attempts to hand the baton to English Gardner in the women’s 4x100m relay heats in Rio de Janeiro on August 18, 2016. PHOTO/IAAF

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Aug 18 – The United States are to seek reinstatement to the women’s 4x100m relay after a dropped baton drama at the Olympics on Thursday.

The defending champions tumbled out in their opening heat after a bungled second baton changeover between Allyson Felix and English Gardner.

Replays of the exchange appeared to show Brazilian third leg runner Kauiza Venancio bump into Felix as she prepared to hand off to Gardner.

The contact threw Felix off balance, dropping the baton as she attempted to pass it off.

“I think I got propelled at about 20 miles an hour. When a foreign object comes in front of you, it’s going to mess up the momentum and the handover,” Felix said.

The heat was won by Germany’s quartet in 42.18sec ahead of Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, and Brazil.

In the other semi-final, Jamaica stormed to victory in 41.79sec.

The Jamaican women — including heavyweight veterans Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — were pushed all the way by Britain, who finished in 41.93sec.

Jamaica’s newly-crowned 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson sat out the heat but will return for the final.

“We are putting things together well but we’ll have to change a few things for the final,” Campbell-Bro

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