<
>

U.S. women to re-run 4x100-meter relay heat after botched handover

The United States will re-run for a spot in the women's 4x100-meter relay final on Thursday, following a botched handover between Allyson Felix and English Gardner on the far side of the track during a preliminary heat.

Felix seemed to stumble as she entered the exchange zone and could not catch third runner Gardner, flipping the baton in desperation. It hit the ground as Gardner and Felix crashed into each other. Gardner held her head in desperation as Felix went to pick up the baton and hand it over.

The U.S. team finished the heat in last place. The Dutch team was also out.

The International Association of Athletics Federations said the U.S. will need to run faster than 42.70 seconds to bump China from the final. The U.S. will not have any competitors on the track during the re-run.

Replays of the race show Brazil's third runner, Kauiza Venancio, start to pump her arms as she gets ready to receive the baton from Franciela Krasucki. Venacio's left arm made contact with Felix's right one and threw her off balance as she was attempting to pass to Gardner.

Felix let out a yelp as her flip missed its mark and the baton tumbled to the ground. She picked up the baton and told Gardner to finish the race -- a heads-up move that may not have really changed anything, per the rulebook, but removed any doubt about the U.S team's intention to finish the race. Anchor runner Morolake Akinosun finished but the Americans didn't post an official time, listed as a "DQ," until officials let them back in.

"I remember them telling us, if there's an appeal, you have to make an effort," Felix said.

At the 2012 Olympics in London, the Americans won the 4x100-meter relay gold medal in an Olympic-record 40.82 seconds.

Added Gardner: "We're just gonna regroup, get ourselves together and go out and be able to compete in the final."

ESPN's Bonnie Ford and The Associated Press contributed to this report