BELFAST -- Edwin Moses says that when a runner stumbles, he has to get up and run again. Which is exactly what he's doing.
After 10 years, with 122 consecutive victories in the 400-meter hurdles, he has stumbled twice in the last 2 1/2 months, once literally. His competitors say they see weaknesses in his once-unbeatable form.
"There is nothing wrong with me or with my form," Moses said after easily winning his specialty over another U.S. hurdler, Tranel Hawkins, in 48.18 seconds at an international track meet here Wednesday.
Olympic champion in 1976 and 1984, Moses carried the longest winning streak ever in a track event into an early June meet in Madrid against Danny Harris, who had emerged since the Los Angeles Games as the hurdler most likely to break the string.
On a warm, clear night at Villahermoso Stadium, Harris finally did just that.
Nine years, nine months and nine days after his last loss -- to West Germany's Harald Schmid -- Moses finished second as Harris ran a 47.56, the fastest 400-hurdle time in the world this year.
Since then, Moses has beaten Harris twice, once in the U.S. national championships in San Jose, Calif., last month, and has talked of starting a new winning streak.
It got to five before Moses clipped the final hurdle and fell while leading a race in Paris July 16. Amadou Dia Ba of Senegal won, with Harris second.
"I had to be beaten eventually, and the fall in Paris happened when I was running well," Moses said. "It was probably my best race of the year, and I was looking for something like 47.5 or better."
Moses holds the world record of 47.02. Ba won the Paris race in 48.89.
The track in Paris was wet, and Moses said he was momentarily blinded by the reflection of the stadium and TV lights as he approached the hurdle.
"I blinked, and the hurdle was lost in the glare," he said. "I didn't see it."
He said the fall makes no difference in his preparation for the World Track and Field Championships, set for Rome in late August.
Moses said his form is at least as good as last year's, when he won all 10 of his Grand Prix races, five in less than 48 seconds.
He also is serving as a mentor for his traveling companion, 23-year-old Butrch Reynolds, whose time of 44.10 is the fastest 400 meters ever at sea level. At Belfast, Reynolds beat a powerful field in the infrequently run 300, although he failed to better the world-best mark of 31.70 held by countryman Kirk Baptiste.
The Belfast meet marked a temporary parting for the two Americans, who are taking different paths to the World Championships. Whereas Moses prefers to stay in Europe, racing occasionally to prepare for Rome, Reynolds is going home to Cleveland with a "rest is best" philosophy.
Moses, understands the younger man's move.
"It's his first time over here in Europe," Moses said. "He wasn't really prepared to stay the whole time, and there's a lot of stress for a young athlete like him."