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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Injured Pal Offers Lewis Historic Opportunity

ATLANTA -- For Carl Lewis to have a chance to win his historic 10th Olympic gold medal, one of the current members of the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team had to get injured or withdraw.


Lo and behold, Thursday afternoon Leroy Burrell came down with acute Achilles' tendinitis and took himself out of the relay.


Burrell -- the former world record holder in the 100 meters, a good friend and training partner of Lewis' and a fellow Nike endorser -- withdrew from the team "based on medical recommendations," said Lawrence Magee, physician for the U.S. track and field team.


"I feel bad for Leroy," said U.S. men's track coach Erv Hunt. "I've been involved with him for a number of years. For him not to be given a chance to win a gold medal is disappointing. Our next step is to find someone to take his place."


That someone almost certainly will be the 35-year-old Lewis, regarded as the greatest anchor-leg relay runner in history.


"We do have some alternates," Hunt said. "We will do what's best for the team and the country."


Jeff Williams, an alternate on the 4x100 team, predicted Thursday night that Lewis would be selected for the final.


"I have no weight. You know what I'm talking about," he said. "Nobody weighs as much as Carl. He's a couple of tons. Everybody else is small change."