It’s impossible not to feel for the Chinese athletes who blew a baton handoff about as badly as possible.
China was competing in the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar over the weekend when the wheels fell off during the Women’s 4x100m Relay Final.
The incident is seen in the video below, as the two Chinese runners exceeded the area designated for the baton handoff and, understanding they violated the rules, ran back to complete a legal handover.
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) October 6, 2019
But things went from bad to worse.
As they returned to the zone, confusion reigned in their desperation to quickly atone for their mistake. First, they clumsily attempted to recreate the handoff, and then the athlete taking the baton seemed to be confused about whether she should was clear to proceed.
But then, it’s not likely they spend much time practicing just what to do in a situation such as this.
Adding to their misery, the BBC announcers mocked the women for their blunder.
The Chinese team was eventually disqualified for the botched handover, according to the New York Post. China’s Olympics qualification were reportedly up in the air over the incident.
Needless to say, the athletes involved were devastated afterward.
According to official records, the Chinese women’s relay team of Liang Xiaojing, Wei Yongli, Kong Lingwei, and Ge Manqi finished more than 23 seconds behind seventh-placed Italy.
The People’s Daily, the state-run Chinese newspaper, had congratulated both the male and female sprinters for reaching the finals.
Congratulations! Both Chinese male and female sprinters broke into the world championship 4x100m relay final at the ongoing @IAAFDoha2019 in Qatar, on Fri. In 22 years, China once again entered the women’s 4x100m relay heat final. #ChinaSpeed pic.twitter.com/CtN55Niu7g
— People’s Daily, China (@PDChina) October 5, 2019
In the often toxic world of social media, the women got little sympathy, as their screw up became fodder for entertainment.
Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
That’s what I thought. It’s before the zone right?
— Sam Nicoll (@Samnics) October 5, 2019
What was going on with the Chinese relay team. That change over was ? at the World Athletics
— Brad Hore OLY (@HoreBrad) October 7, 2019
I cannot stop watching the Chinese female relay team. It almost seems too funny to be true.
— ♫PedroSinger♫ (@PeterCarterJM) October 7, 2019
Y’all watching this Chinese 4*100 relay team imploding?!? ?? I’m on the floor.
— Phlynt Phlossy ©®™ (@PhilChard) October 5, 2019
— Angie ???? (@ang3lj926) October 5, 2019
The Chinese women 4×4 relay team did this pic.twitter.com/cY1L04940c
— Mohamed Wehliye (@WehliyeMohamed) October 5, 2019
In order to qualify for the Olympics next year, relay teams had to complete this race. So although this was hilarious, the Chinese team did the right thing by picking up the baton & going back to the exchange zone. https://t.co/IfRiASq7xN
— Lillian (@LillzTrackLife) October 6, 2019
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