"Look where you've come," said Smith. "He had to set the [low-altitude] world record to beat you."
Lewis finished alone in third with 44.37 "With all respect to Lee," said Smith flatly, "these are the three best 400 men ever."
That may have to await confirmation in the Olympic 400, but we know right now that Griffith Joyner has no imaginable peer. She ran and won the three preliminary rounds of the 200 in pink, yellow and black bodysuits, respectively, which didn't make a dent in the 14 racing outfits she had brought to Indy. Her nails carried rhinestones on her right hand and tiny Hawaiian beach scenes complete with palm trees and sea gulls painted on her left. Oh yes, the yellow worked best. Call it international warning buttercup. Sheathed in it she broke Valerie Brisco's U.S. record of 21.81 with 21.77 in the quarterfinals.
Keeping a promise to a friend, she chose a white lace body stocking for the final. "Well, it's a...negligee," she said, her voice appropriately sultry.
A solemn Pam Marshall was determined to let her feet be her flash. She gained late in the stretch, but missed with 21.93. The lingerie adjust ahead of her won in 21.85.
Slaney, too, had competition, but Regina Jacobs's excited run at her in the last lap of the 1,500 simply revealed Slaney's reserves. As Jacobs's footsteps closed in, adrenaline sent out its irresistible call, and Slaney took off. She veered in the stretch to drive her pursuer wide, though there was no need. It was easy to imagine her being unsuccessfully chased by anguished Soviets as she kicked away to win in 3:58.92.
Jacobs ran a splendid 4:00.46 to become the third-fastest American ever, and Kim Gallagher, another great talent restored to health, who had won the 800 earlier, took third in 4:05.41.
Later Slaney was all business. "What were the splits?" she asked. "I can't figure where I fell off American record pace."
Records were luxuries. In most events there were dogfights for every place on the team. And in one there was an attempt so impossible it seemed like something out of Cervantes.
World champion high hurdler Greg Foster fell in a workout on July 4 and shattered his left forearm. Four steel plates and a dozen screws now hold it together. Thus impaired, Foster set out to make the U.S. Olympic team.