Two teams in the 4×100 Meter did the unacceptable, the unthinkable, the unimaginable. They dropped the baton. If you are slow to take the baton, you may lose a step. But if you drop it, you are disqualified, and someone should have explained this to the team before they stepped on the track!
Fortunately, the American’s learned from their experience. This time, the baton was not going to be a problem. Hopefully, never again would it be a problem for the US in the Olympics. You can come from behind, as Sanya Richards demonstrated, but you cannot recover from the baton hitting the dirt.
The US Women’s team consisted of Mary Wineberg, Allyson Felix , Monique Henderson and Sanya Richards. Sanya had to overtake Russia’s Anastasia Kapachinskaya to win the Gold and it was an exciting race to watch.
The Men’s team LaShawn Merritt, Angelo Taylor, David Neville and Jeremy Wariner broke the Olympic record winning Gold. Wariner looked much happier after this race than after losing to Merriitt in the 400 meter men’s individual event.
The men were very careful to not drop the baton this time. And that care did not make a difference in their winning time. How important is the pass? We hear it in every relay. And someone forgot to tell these guys; they had to learn the hard way.
This was the most exciting race of the Olympic swimming events this year and possibly ever. Michael Phelps led off for the US Swim Team. The surprise at the start was Australia with a huge lead after the first turn. A number of swimmers after the first leg were well ahead of the World Record.
Garrett Weber-Gale in his first Olympic swim jumped in for the second leg and took the lead. The US remained in the lead with Cullen Jones swimming in the third leg, but France took it by the turn.
Going into the final leg, anchor man Jason Lezak jumped in the pool well behind. It looked like the Frenchman Bernard was pulling away at the final turn.
Jason Lezak started to close with ½ of a lap to go and pulled off a miraculous finish to take the Gold for America!! A clutch anchor swim we will remember forever. The Frenchman Bernard had to eat his words from earlier in the day.
Lezak later said, “I’ve been on the last two relays, where we came up short, and to be honest with you, I was tired of losing.”
Bernard, the braggart Frenchman, blew the race in the final lap. He had said earlier in the day, “The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came for.” He ate those words!! Lezak, the US Team Captain, had much more heart and sportsmanship, and the US team destroyed the world record with a time of 3:08.24.
Better luck next time Bernard.
This keeps Phelps hopes for 8 gold medals in these Olympics alive. He now has two!!
The sweetest part of this race was knowing the French were listening to the US National Anthem at the end.
WATCH THE HISTORIC and DRAMATIC WIN IN ITS ENTIRETY
INCLUDING THE AWARDING CEREMONY!
Michael Phelps Sets Olympic Record in 200M Butterfly
OK, here is the answer to those that felt Michael Phelps may have trouble coming down after that victory yesterday in the men’s freestyle relay.
Michael set an Olympic record at 1:53.70 easily disposing of the competition in this prelim heat.
Phelps is on target still, and with last nights miraculous win, he could be well on his way to making Spitz’s record a memory!