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August 11, 2008
by Ryan Hudson
There's a fine line you walk when you make a bold prediction in sports. If you win, then hey, you're Joe Namath. But, if you can't back up your mouth, well - then you just look silly. And tonight, France looked silly.
Leading up to the men's swimming 4x100m final Sunday night (Monday morning), France's Alain Bernard was quoted as saying that his team would "smash the Americans." Things did not follow that plan.
Going into the fourth and final leg of the relay-race, with seemingly half the teams above the world record pace, the Americans were down, and things weren't looking good as Bernard began to pull away in the first 50m. But then, they made the turn, and suddenly, the U.S. anchor, Jason Lezak, was close. And getting closer.
It came down the final stroke, where Lezak was able to stretch and touch the wall first, edging Bernard by .08 seconds, giving the U.S. the gold medal as they shattered the world record by more than three seconds.
It is already being discussed as one of the more amazing relay races, ever (I'd show you video, but NBC is being pretty strict about that). And for those keeping track at home, Michael Phelps is now 2-for-2 in his quest for eight golds in Beijing.
Photo courtesy Getty Images