2008 Olympics: 4x100 Swimming Relay Brings Biggest Excitement Yet

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer IAugust 10, 2008

The Opening Ceremony in Beijing was a fitting start to what has been an already incredible Olympics Games.

Now, in the second full day of competition, perhaps the best event has already taken place.

For anyone who watched the 4x100 meter relay in primetime on NBC, they witnessed one of the finest races in recent history. The Water Cube, home to the swimming portion of the Olympics, hosted a down-to-the-wire battle between the U.S. and the French.

After superstar Michael Phelps led off with a decent first leg, the French seized control in the third leg as American Cullen Jones struggled to keep pace.

In the anchor leg, however, Olympic veteran Jason Lezak, the team's captain competing in his third Olympic games, came back for one of the most amazing finishes in swimming history.

Phelps, who was less than impressive in his opening part, gave the United States no sizable lead to work with for the remaining three participants.

As the final legs of the relay found the water, the world record line trailed the competitors by almost a full body length and the American foursome smashed the existing mark.

It appeared that Lezak would run out of real estate, but he had just enough to edge the French anchor at the wall.

This win still keeps Phelps' dream of eight-for-eight gold medals alive.

If any of you missed this thrilling display, you can tune into NBC.com for highlights.