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Relay spot means Spitz's record can be had

Updated: August 13, 2004, 9:16 PM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Michael Phelps got his first Olympic win -- before the Athens Games even began.

In a move that ticked off sprint star Gary Hall Jr. but should give Phelps his best chance to break Mark Spitz's record, the U.S. coaching staff tentatively reserved a spot for their most touted swimmer in the final of the 400-meter freestyle relay.

Swimming is perhaps the most highly anticipated sport at the Athens Games, beginning Saturday with Phelps as an overwhelming favorite to win ...

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