Jason Lezak Discusses the 46.06 Split 10 Years Later at the ASCA World Clinic

Swimming World TV

Four-time US Olympian Jason Lezak sat down with two-time US Olympian Josh Davis for Swimming World TV to discuss the 46.06 anchor leg from the 4×100 free relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The ten year anniversary of the men’s 4×100 free relay, perhaps the most famous relay in swimming history, was August 11, 2008, a little less than a month ago. Lezak talked with Swimming World about the race and the hype going into the relay that happened ten years ago.

Lezak swam the final leg on the 4×100 free relay for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics after being named a team captain for the trip. Lezak was swimming in his third straight Olympics and he had been a part of the last two 4×100 free Olympic relays for Team USA. The Americans had been unbeaten in that relay at the Olympics until 2000 when Australia dethroned them. The Americans finished with the bronze medal four years later in 2004 where South Africa won a stunning gold medal.

Lezak had been on each of those relays that lost and did not want to be on the losing end again in 2008 so he dug as deep as he could and swam the fastest split in history and to this day has the fastest 100 free split of all-time.

Lezak said he does not remember much about the race but he wanted to help bring the gold medal back to the USA (1:11). He left a message to the younger generation to “never give up” (1:39).

The relay consisted of Michael PhelpsGarrett Weber-GaleCullen Jones and Jason Lezak and they won the gold medal, lowering the world record by four seconds. They swam a 3:08.24 which still stands as the world record today. Other than France’s 3:08.32 silver medal in 2008, no team has broken 3:09 in the relay since.

Lezak’s anchor also helped Phelps continue his quest to win an unprecedented eight gold medals and Lezak was asked (2:13) if Phelps has ever “repaid” him for being such a big help in those Olympics.

10 Comments

10 comments

  1. Hearing Doc

    That relay is hands down my favorite race of all time!!

  2. Pablo Valedon

    Jason, you will always be one of the greatest clutch swimmers of all times. I use your come back and never give up or giving in attitude to help inspire and motivate my students in Aquatics /PE class.
    Simply put you are a hero💪🇺🇸🏊‍♂️🏊‍♀️😎🎓

  3. Amy White

    I just want to know how it felt coming off of that wall.

  4. Brian Jaskot

    I was there in the stands cheering! Was able to get one set of swimming tickets and was the best sporting event I have ever witnessed!!

  5. Shawna Reed Stevens

    Watching that race (and re-watching through the years) never, ever gets old. Chills every single time. 🇺🇸

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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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