Carl Lewis teamed with three Santa Monica Track Club sprinters Wednesday to break the world record in the 800-meter relay at the Koblenz international track and field meet.
Lewis, a six-time Olympic gold medalist, and teammates Danny Everett, LeRoy Burrell and Floyd Heard finished in 1 minute 19.38 seconds, besting the mark of 1:20.26 set in 1978 by a team from USC.
Their record came despite a sloppy exchange between Heard and Lewis and highlighted a banner day for U.S. athletes, who won six men's and three women's events.
Everett took a big lead as the starter, and Burrell maintained it during his second leg. Heard, running third, lost some ground to the Santa Monica Track Club II team.
But Lewis, cheered on by 15,000, accelerated during the final 200 meters after taking the baton, far ahead of Mark Witherspoon of Santa Monica II.
The Americans entered the meet with the intention of establishing a world record.
Julius Kariuki of Kenya, an Olympic champion, won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:12.18, but failed to break the world record set last month by countryman Peter Koech with a time of 8:05.35.
In a duel in the men's 100, Witherspoon finished 0.01 of a second ahead of second-place Robson Da Silva of Brazil, winning in 10.16.
Johnny Gray won the 800 in 1:43.98. Mark Rowe took the 400 in 45.44 and fellow American Kevin Young won the 400 hurdles in 47.94. The United States also won the women's 400 relay in 43.43.
Pauline Davis of the Bahamas won the women's 100 in 11.15, followed by Mary Onyali of Nigeria in 11.25.
Grace Jackson of Jamaica won the women's 400 in 50.93; Angela Chalmers of Canada won the 3,000 in 8:46.64, and France's Monique Ewanje Epee took the 100 hurdles in 12.77.
Susi Faver of the United States battled with Britain's Lorraine Bakker to win the 800 in 2:00.56. Larry Myricks of the United States won the long jump in 27 feet 8 inches, and American Jan Wohlschlag won the women's high jump with a 6-4 1/2.