A single misplaced step cost Canada a bronze medal in one of the marquee events at the London Olympics.
The Canadian team was disqualified from the final of the men's 4x100-metre relay Saturday after thirdleg runner, Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I., stepped on the line.
The scoreboard at the jam-packed Olympic Sta-dium declared the Canadians the bronze medallists, behind Jamaica and the United States.
Connaughton, along with Gavin Smellie of Brampton, Ont., Ottawa's Oluseyi Smith and anchor Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont., gleefully celebrated the result.
But their euphoria was short-lived.
A few minutes later, Trinidad and Tobago's runners were the ones celebrat-ing the bronze and the devastated Canadians were doubled over in tears.
Connaughton was devastated and apologized for the error on Twitter.
"I'm so sorry everyone," he wrote. "My heart is broken. I let my team down. I'm sorry."
Warner said they ran a great race.
"This is unfortunate," Warner said.
"It sucks. Everyone dreams about getting a medal and we have just had one taken away."
Despite the video replay clearly showing Connaughton's foot on the white lane line, Canada appealed the decision. It was denied.
"That's what you work for, just to get the medal," Smellie said. "To feel like that and then to have that moment taken away is really harsh."
Jamaica won gold in a world-record time of 36.84 seconds. The United States took silver in 37.04.
Star Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey, who led Canada to gold in the 4x100 at the Atlanta Games, was quick to weigh in on the result via Twitter.
"I feel for the team," he wrote. "U guys brought it today."
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