Failed Baton Handoff Ends Jones' Quest

A failed baton handoff doomed the U.S. 400-meter relay team, terminating Marion Jones' (search) last chance for a medal at the Athens Games.

An hour after she finished fifth in the long jump, Jones was unable to make the handoff to 100-meter silver medalist Lauryn Williams midway through the relay. Williams left too early and Jones could not reach her with the baton until it was too late.

Jamaica won Friday night in a time of 41.73 seconds. Russia won the silver medal at 42.27 seconds. France got the bronze at 42.54 seconds.

Jones, running second, was close to the lead as she approached Williams. But she reached once, shouted as she reached a second time, then finally was able to give the baton to Williams on the third attempt — nearly running into her younger teammate.

By then Williams was already out of the handoff zone. She stopped running, and Jones put her arm around Williams as the two walked to the end of the track.