Lewis began his run-in. "I just thought, 'Make the first one count,' " he said later. His fourth step from the end was six inches past his shoe check mark. He took two shortened steps to adjust, and jumped. He landed at 28'3½". There was negligible wind. It was the second-longest legal jump in history.
"If he gets that speed and takeoff right, you'll see something," said Tellez. But Lewis walked solemnly back and picked up his sprint shoes. "That's it," said Tellez. "Too bad. With one more he might have been able to go to the legal high-28s. But he's got to be ready to come back after the 100 because a man named Larry Myricks hasn't jumped yet."
Myricks, who won the 1979 World Cup with 27'11½" and had beaten Lewis eight of the nine times they had met, did 27'3¼". He landed on his right hand, his spikes ripping into his ring finger, and he walked to the first-aid tent with a clenched fist of blood and sand.
Lewis, meanwhile, set his blocks for the 100. He was in Lane 7, between James Sanford and Mel Lattany. He got a good start, for him, and was about fourth at 30 meters. "But close," he said later. "I knew I had it then." From 50 to 80 he caught everyone and won by a full meter, finishing with arms upraised in 10.13. Stanley Floyd was second in 10.21, with the same time for Lattany in third. Sanford never showed his usual lift and was fourth in 10.22. The four quickly promised a world record in the 4x100-meter relay in Rome, and Lewis returned to monitor the long jump. "I won't jump unless I have to," he said.
The forces necessary to hurl a 175-pound man nearly 30 feet through the air are more than enough to snap anklebones. A tired jumper must accept an increase in that risk. So Lewis' parents and sister, Carol—who had been fourth in the 100-meter hurdles in 13.73 and would take third in the women's long jump with 21'5½"—intently watched the determined Myricks. He fouled twice and was down to his last jump. But on that one, he soared high and wide, landing dangerously close to Lewis country, at 27'8¾", equaling history's fifth best. Lewis was there to shake his hand, even as he stripped off his own shoes. "I hope Larry isn't too down," said Lewis later. "It was the greatest long-jump competition ever." And yet one not entirely fulfilling.
"Did you ever consider jumping again, just for distance?" he was asked.
"No. The only objective here was to win. Even if I'd gone 29'1" on my first jump, I couldn't think of records."
Nor could Edwin Moses, simply because his final in the 400-meter hurdles came on Sunday afternoon when the temperature was 106°. "The sun is just like gravity," he said. "It presses you down. I just want to win and survive." Pressing from the rear was UCLA psychology major Andre Phillips, the NCAA champion. After the field passed the seventh of the 10 hurdles closely bunched, Phillips grabbed the lead. "Was I worried?" said Moses later, as if he couldn't have heard the question right. "Not with 100 meters left. That's all I train for, the last hundred meters."
They were even over the ninth hurdle, but Moses attacked it strongly—"You have to get back down on the ground as fast as possible"—while Phillips clobbered the barrier in his lane. Moses quickly built a five-meter lead and eased up to win in 47.59, the sixth-fastest ever, the other five also being Moses performances, four of them accumulated during a consecutive win streak of 63, dating back to 1977. Phillips did 48.10 to become the second-fastest American ever. "Last year I was just running the event," he said. "This year I'm learning it. I think about beating him all the time. I dream about it."
Moses, for his part, tore off his burning shoes and asked an official why the meet couldn't have been held at night.