ATHENS, Greece – The United States won the men's 400-meter medley relay in world-record time Saturday night, giving Michael Phelps (search) his record eighth medal of the Athens Olympics (search) without him getting into the pool. Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker (search) and Jason Lezak won in 3 minutes, 30.68 seconds, lowering the old mark of 3:31.54 set by the Americans at last year's world championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Germany took silver in 3:33.62, while Japan earned bronze in 3:35.22.
Phelps gave up his spot in the final to Crocker, who finished second to the 19-year-old in the 100 butterfly Friday night. Phelps sat with the U.S. team on the pool deck during the final, leading cheers during the race.
He earned a gold for swimming in the preliminaries, giving him six golds and two bronzes in the eight-day swimming competition that ended Saturday night. That ties Soviet gymnast Aleksandr Dityatin's record of eight medals in one Olympics, set at the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games.
Peirsol swam the leadoff backstroke leg in a world-record 53.45 seconds, lowering the mark he already held.
Hansen outswam rival Kosuke Kitajima on the breaststroke leg, touching the wall ahead of the Japanese star. Kitajima swept the 100 and 200 breaststroke races in Athens, while Hansen settled for silver and bronze medals.