Watch the clock and check the record book: Carl Lewis is in high gear with a 9.99-seconds warm-up for Saturday's 100. Matt Biondi is closer to his goal of seven medals, grabbing a third gold and setting a world record with his swimming buddies.
The Olympic spotlight shifted to track and field Friday afternoon - with Lewis' debut and Jackie Joyner-Kersee's assault on the heptathlon record - but shone again in the evening on Biondi, who won his fifth medal anchoring the 400-meter freestyle relay.The U.S. team of Chris Jacobs, Troy Dalbey, Tom Jager and Biondi sped through the relay in 3 minutes, 16.53 seconds, beating the old record of 3:17.08 by another Biondi-anchored team in 1985.
Equally golden were the performances of Elena Shushunova, a doe-eyed Soviet teen who became the new queen of gymnastics, and Kristin Otto, a big, brawny East German who won her fourth swimming gold.
Shushunova thrilled fans with a perfect 10 that clinched the all-around gold and brought a hug from the 1984 queen, Mary Lou Retton.
The 6-foot-2 Otto, who is going for six golds, put on an unprecedented display of versatility, adding a victory in the 100-meter butterfly to her previous wins in the 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay. Otto set an Olympic mark of 59 seconds in the butterfly.
America's Mary T. Meagher, a triple gold medalist in 1984, finished a disappointing seventh.
Uwe Dassler of East Germany set a world record in winning the gold medal in the men's 400 freestyle in 3 minutes, 46.95 seconds.
The Soviet Union won five medals to hold its lead in the medal list with 33, including 16 gold. East Germany added nine medals to move up to a total of 28, nine of them gold. The United States won only a gold and silver to remain in third with 15, including six gold.
But Friday saw the American men's basketball team romp over China 108-57 despite minor injuries to several U.S. players and the American boxers gain a sixth straight victory.
Confusion reigned inside and outside the Olympic Stadium as the day began with the women's marathon snarling traffic on the streets and bridges of hot, humid Seoul and delaying fans trying to get to the Games.
Rosa Mota, the "Atomic Ant" of Portugal, bounded over the 26-mile, 385-yard course in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 39 seconds to add a gold to the bronze she won in the same race in the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Australian Lisa Martin won the silver in 2:25:52, and Katrin Dorre of East Germany took the bronze in 2:26:20. Nancy Ditz, the top U.S. finisher, came in 17th. Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner in 1984, didn't compete here after complaining of injuries, but Mota said she hoped the American would return to running.
Mota, 5-foot-1 and 99 pounds, is the only woman medalist Portugal has ever had and she has almost single-handedly created a running craze in her homeland.
"I'm proud for me and my country, a small country," Mota said, "Today we stand beside the large countries."
The U.S. track team, which hopes to dominate the glamour events at these Games, started off with a silver medal in the shot put.
East Germany's Ulf Timmermann won the shot with a toss of 69 feet, 91/4 inches while Randy Barnes of South Charleston, W.Va., took the silver at 68-4. Alessandro Andrei of Italy was third at 66-21/4.
The Americans showed some fire when Lewis blazed to the only sub-10 second time of the day in winning his second 100-meter qualifying heat.
Lewis complained about the quick trigger finger of the starter, something that could give rival Ben Johnson of Canada an advantage in the finals Saturday because of Johnson's lower, faster starting position.
"We were told all summer we'd have a long gun," Lewis said, "but then we come here and it's a quick gun. It definitely caught me by surprise in the first round." Lewis ran 10.14 in his first heat.
Johnson, who holds the 100 world record of 9.83, blasted out of the blocks in the first heat, grabbed a huge lead, then coasted to a 10.37 finish. In the second round, he ran 10.17 but finished third behind Britain's Linford Christie and American Dennis Mitchell.
Edwin Moses, seeking his third Olympic gold in the 400 intermediate hurdles, sped to easy victory in his first heat but left the stadium furious about race conditions.
"It was chaos at the start," he said. "There was no chance to warm up, with people running all over the track."
Joyner-Kersee is on a pace to become the first woman to crack the 7,000-point barrier in the Olympic heptathlon, a grueling series of seven events whose winner is often dubbed "the world's greatest woman athlete."
Joyner-Kersee, the only woman to go over 7,000 points in any heptathlon, won a silver in 1984 and is three events away from a gold this time. She set an Olympic record of 12.69 seconds in the 100-meter high hurdles, then high-jumped 6 feet, 1-4 inches, threw the shot 51 feet, 10 inches and ran 200 meters in 22.56, breaking the Olympic record of 22.96.
The sister of 1984 Olympic triple jump champion Al Joyner and sister-in-law of sprint world champion Florence Griffith Joyner finished the day with 4,264 points, an Olympic record for the first day. East Germans Sabine John and Anke Behmer were second and third with 4,083 points and 3,986 points, respectively.
Mary Slaney, America's best middle-distance runner, had a frightening flashback to her 1984 Olympic collision with Zola Budd that knocked her out of the 3,000.
This time in the 3,000 qualifier, someone clipped her heel near the finish "and my mind went back to 1984," Slaney said. She stayed up, though, and crossed the line in fourth to make the finals.
"It was a little scary," Slaney said. "It just made me think of Los Angeles for a second."
The only violence at the boxing arena Friday was, appropriately, between the boxers after five Korean officials were banned for Thursday's attack on a New Zealand referee.
Romallis Ellis, a 132-pound southpaw with fast hands from Ellenwood, Ga., anticipated a tough time against Korean Lee Kang-suk but came away with a 5-0 decision that didn't lead to any complaints from the crowd or Lee's corner.
"I was very scared it might go the other way," Ellis said. "We knew we had to go out there and take control. The crowd is a factor in the judging and there is so much controversy out there."
Ellis quieted the crowd when he forced Lee to take two standing 8-counts in the second round and bloodied the Korean's nose. He appeared to have won when he knocked Lee down late in the round, but the referee ruled it a slip.
The win was so convincing that even the Korean coach applauded when the decision was announced.
Later, Todd Foster, 139, of Great Falls, Mont., gave the Americans another victory, knocking out Khalid Rahilou of Morocco with a right hand at 2:19 of the second round. Foster knocked Rahilou down twice before delivering the knockout right to the head.
In other basketball action, Utah Jazz signee Jose Ortiz scored 13 points as his Puerto Rican team came from behind to defeat the Central African Republic 71-67 and clinch a berth in the medal round.
The Puerto Ricans, who trailed by as many as seven points in the second half, improved to 2-2 and will play Yugoslavia in their final preliminary group game Saturday.
Puerto Rico will probably finish fourth in its group, meaning its opponent in the quarterfinals on Monday would be the United States, which has clinched the No. 1 spot in the other pool.