Impact on athletics: The oldest men’s world record was broken

At the discus throw, the Lithuanian Mykolas Alekna reached 74.35 meters and broke the almost 38-year mark of the German Jürgen Schult.

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The previous weekend had recorded the tenth best launch in history. He improved it by almost three meters. Credits: AP
The previous weekend had recorded the tenth best launch in history. He improved it by almost three meters. Credits: AP

The 21-year-old Lithuanian discobolus Mykolas Alekna made history last Sunday in Ramona’s Oklahoma Throws Series by breaking the longest-running men’s world record in athletics with a mark of 74.35 meters, exceeding the 74.08 m that the German Jürgen Schult held in force since June 1986.

In addition to breaking, on the fifth attempt, the record of 37 years and more than 10 months, the current European champion crossed the 70-meter barrier in all six pitches, a series that was also established as the best of all time in the discipline.

The shocking figure, which was initially announced at 74.41 but was soon updated after measurement with a steel tape, is subject to the usual ratification processes. Oddly enough, Alekna accomplished the feat one day after the Cuban Yaime Pérez threw 73.09 m, the most outstanding women’s throw since 1989.

The brand new record, who beat the European Under-23 record in Berkeley the previous Sunday, is the son of double Olympic champion Virgilijus Alekna, who, in addition to being crowned in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, keeps the Olympic record of 69.89 meters (2004) and the third best shot in history, of 73.88 m in 2000, two years before Alekna’s birth.

After the feat in the United States, the longest-running men’s world record in outdoor athletics went to Yuri Sedykh, a hammer-thrower and active since August 1986. Regardless of gender, the oldest record dates back to June 26, 1983, when the Czech Jarmila Kratochvílová ran the 800 meters of the Munich World Cup in 1:53.28.

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