Not in mortal danger, but definitely weakened by stomach flu was Butch Reynolds, who had enough on his hands with a powerful field in the 400-meter final. Innocent ("I have not been able to live up to that name") Egbunike of Nigeria and Azusa Pacific College flew to a meet-record 44.26 in his semifinal and seemed ready to become the first man since Lee Evans and Larry James in the 1968 Olympics to break 44.
Reynolds, who ran 44.10 in May, never strayed far from porcelain facilities. "The diarrhea started in Berlin," he said. "Once I got to Rome it was very, uh, regular. The team doctors were good about giving me back the fluids I was losing." He went on in much greater detail, but you don't want to hear about it.
Reynolds ran well. Egbunike burned the first 300, Reynolds stayed close, and then both were passed by the relentless stretch run of East Germany's Thomas Schönlebe, who won in 44.33, to Egbunike's 44.56 and Reynolds's 44.80. Schönlebe had never before won even a European championship 400.
Reynolds returned, refreshed, three nights later to anchor the U.S. 4 X 400-meter relay team. Danny Everett (45.1), Roddie Haley (44.0) and Antonio McKay (44.2) gave him a 12-meter lead. "I felt sluggish," he said, "but the guys were depending on me." Reynolds was a true steward, driving hard for a 44.0 and a total team time of 2:57.29, the second-fastest ever run.
Carl Lewis earlier had overcome a bad stomach to win the long jump, with a leap of 28'5½", from the Soviet Union's Robert Emmiyan (28'0"), but left a sour-grape taste in a few mouths with remarks on British TV to the effect that some winners in the Worlds had used performance-enhancing drugs. Apparently motivated by the advent of agents that can mask anabolic steroids, Lewis realized that he had spoken too soon. He could provide no evidence. "It's not fair to point fingers," he said, "and I can't say who's on what. No one can do that. What we have to do is tighten procedures to see that violators are caught." Perhaps the tempest over his statement will push the TAAF to ban the masking drugs themselves.
A harvest moon rose on the final night of the Worlds. Sweden's Patrik Sjöberg won the high jump at 7'9¾". Beautiful Soviet baton-passing in the 4 X 100 relay was overcome by Lewis sprinting as he carried the U.S. team of Lee McRae, Lee McNeill and Harvey Glance to a 37.90 win. And when there were no more events, the crowd simply stayed and sang and tried to will this fragile, rose-tinted world into continuing. Of course it had to scatter, to Mombasa, Dresden and Westwood.
And try to regather in Seoul. Said Glance, "I happen to have been afflicted by the 1980 Moscow Olympic boycott. But here, at the Worlds, you are guaranteed to have everybody. It is here where you find where you really stand in the world."