Aug. 11, 2008
It was a race to the finish, but in the end, Jason Lezak pulled through for the United States in record-breaking fashion. Swimming the final leg in a stacked men’s 400-meter freestyle relay final, Lezak dashed through his lap of the pool inside Beijing’s National Aquatics Centre in 46.06 seconds, overcoming more than a half-second deficit to lead the United States to gold. The quartet of Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Lezak finished in a world-record time of 3:08.24, edging out France by .08 seconds and shattering the previous record the United States set in prelims the day before by nearly four seconds. Five of the eight teams in the final finished faster than the world-record time.