I can't believe it."
Sometimes, practice doesn't make perfect. Both the USA Men's and Women's 4x100 relay teams experienced the same kind of loss--not qualifying by means of dropping the baton.
We all "drop the ball" now and again. Unfortunately, when you're in the Olympic spotlight, dropping the ball, or baton, is--as Tyson Gay said--unbelievable.
I can't imagine how many times these teams must have run and passed, listened for footsteps, felt the "touch" of the one behind. When you are working on such a tight and fast team, you develop the rhythms and you know the timings. To see two teams falter in such similar ways--sadly, looking as though they hadn't rehearsed before--is.......
My heart goes out to them today. They will have to endure a lot of "talk" by the commentators and answer the same question over and over again. They will be "the history" of the event, until the next USA teams remake the history. Instead of carrying the stick, they'll be "on the stick," carrying the weight of a mistake.
There are no earthly guarantees that practicing everything you know will work for victory. Indeed, there is only One, who was on the stick and carried the weight of the sins of the entire world, who guarantees the ultimate victory.
When we look to Jesus and to God's Word through such team relay racers as Paul, we can, eventually, know perfection--even when we drop the baton. But the baton of perfection isn't something to be grasped in our earthly days. Praise God for His mercy as we forget what lies behind us and reach toward what is in front of us!
"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ and may be found in Him,
not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 3: 7-17, New American Standard Bible (italics mine)