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U.S. Relay Team Disqualified: Heart-Breaking Reactions Show Entire Spectrum Of Human Emotion

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What a turn of events!

For Canada, crossing the finish line fourth in the men's 4x100-metre relay was a tantalizing loss. So close to a third-place finish, disappointment was clear on the faces of sprinters Andre De Grasse, Brendon Rodney, Akeem Haynes and Aaron Brown.

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Canada's relay team reacts to initial announcement of fourth-place finish in the Olympic men's 4x100-metre relay. (Photo: Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the triumphant United States team was proudly celebrating their bronze medals and wearing the American flag on their backs.

U.S. sprinters Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Trayvon Bromell, and Mike Rodgers relished their victory, after closely following Team Japan's silver medallists in the last few metres of the race. Usain Bolt had eclipsed the runners with a dramatic surge across the finish line.

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The U.S. relay team celebrating before news broke of their disqualification. (Getty Images)

But then everything changed when a screen listing the standings flashed "DQ" beside the U.S. team's name.

The team had been disqualified.

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The U.S. relay team reacting after news broke of their disqualification. (Getty Images)

us relay disqualified
The U.S. relay team reacting after news broke of their disqualification. (Getty Images)

Elation

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Tyson Gay celebrating after the men's 4x100-metre relay final. (Photo: Getty Images)

turned to disbelief.

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Tyson Gay looks on after Team USA was disqualified in the men's 4x100-metre relay final. (Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP via Getty Images)

"It was the twilight zone. It was a nightmare," Gatlin told the Chicago Tribune.

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Tyson Gay and his teammates react after Team USA was disqualified in the men's 4x100-metre relay final. (Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP via Getty Images)

For the Canadians, it was an entirely different story.

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Team Canada celebrates after finishing third in 4x100-metre relay final. (Photo: Getty Images)

With the U.S. out of the running, they would have a spot on the podium after all.

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Team Canada celebrates after finishing third in 4x100-metre relay final. (Photo: Getty Images)

Haynes' reaction? Happily bewildered.

The whole gamut of emotions that Olympic success and soul-crushing defeat elicits was out the for athletes, as well as viewers at home.

People felt apologetic.

They grieved in emojis.

Some saw the disqualification as inevitable.

The U.S. men's relay team has been disqualified nine times in the past 20 years, the LA Times reports.

Gay's visible frustration was relatable.

Even the prime minister weighed in.

The Americans appealed the disqualification, which formed on the basis of an early baton pass between Gatlin and Rodgers, the LA Times reports. Their appeal was rejected.

What happened at the relay was like London in reverse, where Canada's 4x100-metre relay team was disqualified from the 2012 Summer Games when a sprinter stepped on an out-of-bounds line.

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