NBC announcers Charlie Jones and Frank Shorter misidentified the winner of the men's 800-meter final Monday, an embarrassing error that Jones called "the mistake of the Olympic Games."
The announcers said the winner was Nixon Kiprotich of Kenya, when it actually was his countryman Paul Ereng. They confused the runners, who were both wearing red shorts and white jerseys, after Ereng passed Kiprotich in the final turn.Jones and Shorter didn't catch the mistake until the end of the first replay. "We have blown this call," Jones said in a horrified tone. "Gentlemen, we were wrong."
When Jones identified the real winner, Shorter exclaimed, "Oh my God!"
Jones said the miscall was "my mistake, nobody else's." Actually, though, Shorter was the first one to misidentify Ereng as he passed favorite Said Aouita and defending champion Joaquim Cruz late in the stretch.
"Kiprotich takes the lead," Jones said in his live call, "and Aouita will not catch him. Nixon Kiprotich! With Joaquim Cruz coming in second."