Chinese women’s relay team bungled baton handoff so spectacularly it hurts to watch

(Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

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.

(Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

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:

Tom Tillison


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