Top 10 records that could be broken at Tokyo Olympics
These amazing feats might be eclipsed in the upcoming quadrennial event.
Winning an Olympic medal is the dream of every sportsperson. However, some of them put the cherry on the cake by etching their names into the history books by creating a new record on the world’s grandest stage. Over the years, several athletes such as Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis, Florence Griffith Joyner, Michael Phelps, Larisa Latynina and many others have sent the records tumbling at the quadrennial event. Some new names could join the illustrious list of performers to have delivered memorable performances at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
We take a look at some of the records that could be broken at Tokyo 2020:
10. Men’s Recurve Archery
Reigning Olympic champion Kim Woo-jin of South Korea will be aiming to reclaim the world record that he had set at Rio 2016. His mark of 700 in the men’s recurve archery was broken by current World No. 1 Brady Ellison of the United States.
Ellison became only the second archer to break the 700-mark barrier, when he shot 702 out of a possible 720 at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. However, the South Korean archer, currently ranked fifth in the world, will try to set a new mark at the Tokyo Olympics.
9. Men’s Javelin Throw
In September 2020, Germany’s Johannes Vetter came close to breaking Jan Zelezny’s world record of 98.48m in the Men’s Javelin Throw. Vetter’s effort saw him achieving a distance of 97.76m at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Chorzow, Poland. The 28-year-old had claimed Gold at the 2017 World Championships and will be aiming for the world record at the Tokyo Olympics.
8. Women’s 10,000m
One of the most eye-catching clashes at the Tokyo Olympics will surely be the face-off between current world record holder Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands. Earlier this month, Hassan broke Almaz Ayana’s world record of 29 minutes and 17.45 seconds with a time of 29:06.82 minutes in Hengelo, Netherlands.
Just two days later, Gidey smashed Hassan’s world record with a timing of 29:01.03 minutes at the same event. The two long distance runners will go head-to-head at the Tokyo Olympics. Tokyo’s humid conditions will surely play a major factor, but excitement levels will be as high as ever.
7. Men’s Shot Put
Men’s shot put has become a very competitive event since the emergence of American Ryan Crouser, his countryman Joe Kovacs and New Zealand’s Tom Walsh. Crouser smashed the Olympic record with a throw of 22.52 .
at Rio 2016 to win the Gold medal. This was followed by the 2019 World Athletics Championships, which was a treat for athletics fans, as all three of them came close to Randy Barnes’ long-standing world record of 23.12 metres.
Both Crouser and Walsh threw the 7.26 kg iron ball to a distance of 22.90 metres. On the other hand, Kovacs launched the ball to a distance of 22.91 metres with his final throw, to pip both his challengers and win Gold. Therefore, an intriguing three-way race to claim the coveted Gold will be expected at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
6. Men’s Pole Vault
The 21-year-old Armand Duplantis of Sweden is the current holder of the Men’s Outdoor Pole Vault world record with a height of 6.15m set at the Diamond League in Rome last year. Duplantis, who also holds the world indoor record at 6.18m, bettered Ukrainian legend Sergey Bubka’s 26-year-old mark.
However, in Tokyo, reigning Olympic champion Thiago Braz of Brazil will be pushing him hard. Braz had set a new Olympic record of 6.03m in front of ecstatic home fans at Rio 2016.
5. Women’s 100m
Of all the athletics events at the Olympics, the 100 metres is one of the most eagerly anticipated. At Beijing 2008, Usain Bolt had clocked a mind-boggling world record time of 9.69 seconds in the men’s 100 metres. However, this time around, it is the women who have been in record-breaking shape, with the main contenders being Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and American Sha’Carri Richardson.
The current world record belongs to the late Florence Griffith Joyner. She had breezed past the finish line in the heats of the US Olympic trials ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, with an astonishing time of 10.49 seconds.
21-year-old Richardson has achieved sprinting times of 10.8 seconds and under with utter ease, with her best being 10.72 seconds. Meanwhile, 34-year-old veteran Fraser-Pryce has found her best form towards the twilight of her career. She became the second-fastest woman on the planet when she blazed past the finishing line with a time of 10.63 seconds in Kingston, Jamaica earlier this month. It might take something of the magnitude of a world record to win the tag of “Sprint Queen” in Tokyo.
4. Men’s 400m Hurdles
The current men’s 400m hurdles world record belongs to US legend Kevin Young, who won the gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics with a spectacular time of 46.78 seconds. Many world-class 400 metre hurdlers have come and gone, but no-one has really challenged the world record set by Young.
However, recently the likes of Karsten Warholm of Norway and Rai Benjamin of the USA came close to the mark. Warholm has been phenomenal over the last four years. He won Gold medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Athletics Championships. Meanwhile, Benjamin has been pushing the Norwegian athlete to his limits in many of their head-to-head clashes.
While Warholm’s personal best stands at 46.87 seconds, Benjamin has clocked a career-best mark of 46.98 seconds. The clash between the two at the Tokyo Olympics will surely decide the Gold.
3. Women’s Triple Jump
In the women’s triple jump event, Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela has been threatening to break the current world record. The benchmark currently belongs to Inessa Kravets of Ukraine, who had jumped a distance of 15.50 metres at the 1995 World Athletics Championships in Sweden.
Rojas has been in some terrific form in the lead up to Tokyo 2020. She’s been jumping distances above 15.35 metres since 2019. Her current best stands at 15.43 metres, which she achieved last month at the World Athletics Continental Tour in Andujar, Spain. There’s a spring in her steps every time she takes to the runway. The 25-year-old will be expected to smash the world record and take the Gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
2. Men’s 100m Freestyle Swimming
At Rio 2016, Caeleb Dressel had won the 4X100m freestyle swimming relay. His teammate that day was Michael Phelps. Five years on, Dressel has been dubbed to become the next Phelps at the upcoming Olympics. Such expectations can sometimes weigh heavily on a young athlete. However, the 24-year-old has embraced the challenge, claiming a combined 13 Gold medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Aquatics Championships.
Dressel is currently the world record holder in 50m freestyle (both long and short course), 100m butterfly (short course) and 100m individual medley (short course). However, the 100m freestyle world record continues to elude him. It belongs to Brazilian Cesar Cielo (46.91 seconds). Dressel had clocked an American record 46.96 seconds in the event at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships held in Gwangju, South Korea. In Japan, he will be looking to add another feather to his cap.
1. Women’s Football all-time top scorer at Olympic Games
Unlike men’s football, the women’s football event at the Olympic Games is not age-restricted. Due to this, several eyes are on the women’s game where some of the biggest stars are in action. Women’s football was introduced only in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Since then, several players have vied for the honour of the all-time top scorer at the Olympics.
Currently, the record belongs to Brazilian forward Cristiane, with 14 goals to her name. There is a chance for the record to tumble at Tokyo 2020. Canada captain Christine Sinclair, who is also the all-time highest goalscorer in international football, has already netted 11 times. Paired alongside hosts Japan, Great Britain and Chile, Canada’s chances in the tournament might well depend on Sinclair’s form in front of goal.