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No. of Recommendations: 2
Ian Crocker's first leg was the slowest of any leg on any team in the final. He is not even a freestyle specialist.

While it was not a mistake to let Phelps swim, why the hell did they replace Gary Hall? He medalled in 100 free in 1996 and 2000.

Heat:
WOODWARD Gabe 0.70 23.62 49.93 (5) 49.93
DUSING Nate 0.14 23.12 49.01 (4) 1:38.94
WALKER Neil 0.19 22.57 48.16 (2) 2:27.10
HALL Gary 0.08 22.91 48.73 (2) 3:15.83

Final:
CROCKER Ian 0.76 23.64 50.05 (8) 50.05
PHELPS Michael 0.44 23.43 48.74 (6) 1:38.79
WALKER Neil 0.16 22.54 47.97 (3) 2:26.76
LEZAK Jason 0.15 22.25 47.86 (3) 3:14.62
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Ian Crocker's first leg was the slowest of any leg on any team in the final. He is not even a freestyle specialist.




I read this morning that Crocker has also been ill yesterday. So I am curious as the the coaches' decision to let him race.

On the other hand, the South African team was blistering. They flew off the blocks and looked so impressive. I wonder if anyone could have caught them. Kudos to South Africa.

Charlie
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Ian Crocker's first leg was the slowest of any leg on any team in the final. He is not even a freestyle specialist.



I thought he placed second at the trials? Often, the lead-off leg is the second-best on the team, but i can't find any evidence to support that.

After the heats, NBC showed the best times of the possible relay members. I thought the top four included Crocker, but again, my memory ain't what it used to be.

I was STUNNED when i heard Crocker's 50-second time. He should have swum butterfly - his world record in that event is just over what he swam in free yesterday.

I tip my hat to the South Africans for an amazing race, especially since they weren't as rested as the Americans or Aussies, who had "scrubs" swim the qualifying heat for them. The Dutch, too, had a terrific finish. Bravo!
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I don't know why they don't let the team from the heat just swim in the final. I think the coaches have a lot to answer for on this one.

=)Megan
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Evidently Gary Hall was so upset about not being selected he did not even go watch the race. (Read on MSNBC - may or may not be true) I think the coaches botched this. Phelps, though very good, is not a sprinter. That and the illness of the other team mate, you have to wonder what was going on in some heads.

Charlie
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I looked up Crocker's bio in the Olympics official site and all of his accomplishments were in butterfly.

http://www.athens2004.com/en/ParticipantBiography?pid=1726413&rsc=SWM411101

I still can't believe the coaches replaced Gary Hall.

http://www.athens2004.com/en/ParticipantBiography?pid=1726424&rsc=SWM411901

He could easily swim a 49 and it would be a photo finish with the South African team who was 1.45 ahead of US.
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We should have at least got the silver outta that. With Crocker being ill, he should have been the one replaced and Hall should have been left in.
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