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Moses: Lezak answers Phelps' prayers

August 10, 2008 | 10:11 pm

U.S. teammates (from left) Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak accept their gold medals.

Wow, now that’s what I’m talking about! What a race! Welcome to the Games, sports fans.

Did you see the butt-kicking that the U.S. men’s 400-meter freestyle relay team dealt out to the French team this evening? That was fantastic. Even Rowdy Gaines, NBC’s color commentator, couldn’t call this race in favor of  the Americans. On paper, the French definitely had the edge and the race was all but given to them by NBC at post time. But Jason Lezak swam a race that we may never see again, a championship split time under championship conditions. That’s what makes a winner.

Michael Phelps, you must be saying your prayers, dude. Your teammates came through “like a big dog,” swimming the collective races of their lives, shattering the world record by what? More than three seconds?This is UNBELIEVABLE! I had chills running up my spine during the last 25 meters of the swim. Many congratulations should go out to Lezak, Garrett Weber-Gale and Cullen Jones for keeping the Michael Phelps' gold rush dream alive.

Too bad for the French team members; they should have never opened their mouths as they only managed to pump up the U.S. team. That’s the way it goes. When watching sports on TV these days, particularly championship action, I always warn people not to rely on statistics alone. The intangibles in sport, the emotional energy, mistakes and overconfidence will have a huge effect on who will ultimately vanquish.

Great call of the race by the NBC commentators. It may not get more exciting than this, but I for one sure hope that is does.

--Edwin Moses

www.edwinmoses.com

Photo: U.S. teammates (from left) Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak accept their gold medals after winning the men's 400-meter freestyle relay on Monday in Beijing. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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