|ESPN.com: Summer 2008||[Print without images]|
|Cullen Jones, Jason Lezak, Michael Phelps and Garrett Weber-Gale set a world record (3:08.24) on their way to winning the 4x100 free relay.|
The winning time: a world-record 3:08.24. Winning margin: eight-hundredths of a second. It was the closest 400-meter relay in Olympic history and the second-closest Olympic relay of any distance. (In 1984, the U.S. nipped Germany by four-hundredths of a second in the 800 free relay.) And Lezak swam the fastest 100-meter relay split in world history, a shocking 46.06 seconds. His split was faster than Bernard's by 0.67 seconds. Smashing. When you're the world-record holder but you cannot hold a lead in your specialty, that's not good. When that happens after you've talked smack, that's worse. At least it took a superhuman swim to beat Bernard.
Afterward I asked the French technical team director, Claude Fauquet, about Bernard's prediction.
|Jason Lezak, center, finally caught France's Alain Bernard, right, in the final leg of the 4x100 relay.|