ATHENS, Greece – There was no flexing. No preening. No embarrassing displays with the U.S. flag.
Bernard Williams (search) must have learned a thing or two at the Sydney Olympics, because he his American teammates were on their best behavior Thursday after sweeping the 200 meters.
Shawn Crawford (search) won gold in 19.79 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year and a personal best. He edged Williams, who tied his personal best of 20.01 seconds. Justin Gatlin (search), the 100 champion, was third in 20.03.
It was the sixth U.S. sweep of the 200 -- the last time led by Carl Lewis (search) in 1984.
"I had my fun in 2000 and I made a lot of people angry," Williams said. "It's not fun when you're making people angry at the same time. I learned how to do it right."
Williams was on the 400-meter relay team four years ago that posed and preened during a victory lap and then clowned on the medals stand. A bare-chested Williams draped himself in a flag then, flapping it as though he were a bird.
The display embarrassed U.S. officials, and led to promises there would not be a repeat of such antics in Athens.
"We made it a focus," said Crawford, whose flamboyant personality was notably subdued. "We don't have to be arrogant about anything. We can carry ourselves with honor. That's the stars and stripes."
Crawford's victory gave controversial coach Trevor Graham a sweep of the men's short sprints. Crawford and Gatlin are training partners under Graham, who acknowledged on the night of Gatlin's victory that he was the coach who sent a syringe of a mystery steroid to authorities last year -- fueling the drug scandal that has swept the sport.
Crawford, Williams and Gatlin knelt together on the track after they crossed the finish line and then Crawford took off on a victory lap, a laurel wreath on his head and a U.S. flag around his shoulders. He stopped in one corner of the track and knelt down on one knee, holding out the flag for photographers.
Williams caught up to him, and the two were trotting with a flag draped around both of their shoulders when long jump winner Dwight Phillips climbed the victory stand to accept his gold medal.
The sprinters stopped on the track as "The Star-Spangled Banner" was played, Williams putting his right hand over his heart.
"For me not to think about that would be out of order," Williams said of his antics in Sydney.
"I learned from my mistakes. I've made a lot mistakes," he added, mentioning his positive test for marijuana at a meet in Spain two months ago. "Now I've stopped. God's given me another chance, and now I'm doing it the right way."
The Americans were so determined to play nice they didn't even bash the hostile crowd, which showered them with boos and jeers in the absence of disgraced Greek hero Kostas Kenteris, who withdrew from the games after missing a drug test.
The start of the race was delayed for four minutes while fans whistled in derision and chanted "Kenteris" and "Hellas, Hellas" -- the Greek word for Greece. They booed loudest when the Americans were introduced.
"I have no idea, and I don't want to insinuate anything and be wrong," Williams said. "But I do know it was more noise than I've ever heard."
Gatlin said he heard more booing after the final results were posted, showing the U.S. sweep. But they quickly died down when fans saw the Americans weren't doing anything outrageous. One fan even gave him a present: small American and Greek flags sewn together.
"We're going to represent the United States in a good way," Gatlin said. "We just wanted to go out and perform like gentlemen."