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Trayvon Bromell. Photo: Pete Dovgan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Image

American men once owned the track, but what looked like a promising week in Tokyo has turned nightmarish in a hurry.

The state of play: In every Summer Games the U.S. has participated in, at least one man has gone home with a track gold medal. Just four events remain in Tokyo to keep that streak alive.

  • Friday: 5K and 4x400 relay heat
  • Saturday: 1500, 4x400 final, marathon

Driving the news: There have been some highlights, including Rai Benjamin finishing second in one of the greatest races ever. But what happened in the 4x100 relay was troubling.

  • The U.S. was favored to win gold, but finished sixth ... in their heat. Three of the four fastest men in the world teamed up and couldn't even make it to the final.
  • "The relay program has been a disaster for years because there's no leadership and no system. When I said everything is wrong, it is," Olympic legend Carl Lewis told USA Today.
  • "If you break it down, people were in the wrong legs, obviously they were not taught how to pass the baton ... I'm not blaming the athletes so much. This was leadership."

The backdrop: From 1920 to 2000, the U.S. won 4x100 gold 15 of 18 times. Since then? Just one silver medal in 2004, which would have been gold if not for a botched handoff.

  • 2008: Eliminated in qualifiers after dropping the baton.
  • 2012: Silver, which was later stripped after Tyson Gay was found guilty of doping.
  • 2016: Disqualified due to an illegal baton exchange.

Go deeper

Sep 5, 2021 - Sports

U.S. beats China for Paralympics gold in women's sitting volleyball

Team USA's Alexis Shifflett serves the ball during the Tokyo Paralympic Games women's sitting volleyball pool match against Rwanda in Chiba, Japan, on Aug. 28. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

Team USA won gold in the Tokyo Paralympic Games women's sitting volleyball final on Sunday morning local time.

The big picture: The defending champions beat China 3-1 in the final. After the event was added to the Paralympics in 2004, China won the first three golds. The Americans' win took the U.S. Paralympic medals tally to 103, including 36 golds.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of China's previous wins in the event.

3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.