U.S. track program to be reviewed after Games

Part of a blog statement from the head of USA Track & Field Doug Logan:

I have received emails from people across the country, particularly about the relays. They all say more or less the same thing: the dropped batons were reflective of a lack of preparation, lack of professionalism, and of leadership. I agree. Dropping a baton isn't bad luck, it's bad execution. Here's the entire statement.

So It’s not just the folks watching at home who have noticed that the United States is uncharacteristically absent from the medals stand in certain track events at these Olympic Games, especially the sprints. Officials at USATF are scratching their heads as well as they watch the Jamaican team fly by the once dominant Americans.

Of course, American frustration reached the boiling point when both the men’s and women’s 4x100 relay teams -- an event where American sprint depth has generally carried the day – failed to even make it to the medal race because of dropped batons in qualifying heats.

Individual efforts have also been disappointing. A hamstring injury has kept American sprinter Tyson Gay from living up to his World Championship status and pre-Olympic hype.

Some bright spot for the U.S. has been hurdles events where the Americans, led by Angelo Taylor, swept the men’s 400-meter hurdles and Dawn Harper took gold in the 100-meter hurdles. The U.S. swept the 400-meter run as well with LaSahawn Merrit winning the gold.

But by and large, U.S. track fans see Beijing as a Waterloo for American track and officials are promising a review when these Games are over.

Said Harper’s coach Bob Kerse in an interview with Reuters: “We have to go back to developing our sprinters. … Whether it's the college system or just training and being prepared, we have to concentrate on taking it up to this level. We can be spoiled at times in the United States.”

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