Athletics Craziest World Records (5-1)

10-6 caused some controversy so it is with some trepidation that we release the top five craziest world records in Athletics. Here they are.

5. Karsten Warholm – Tokyo – August 2021

For almost 29 years Kevin Young’s 1992 mark of 46.78 stood untested. One of the greatest world records in history it is perhaps the American who has valid cause for a place on this list.

On 1st July 2021 that mark finally fell, Karsten Warholm nudging the record lower by eight hundredths of a second. That enough was outstanding but by the measure of what came next it was pedestrian.

In Tokyo on August 3rd Warholm and Rai Benjamin went toe-to-toe for Olympic gold. Stride by stride heading into the final 40 metres Warholm was the one to edge it. With it he decimated his own world record and became the first man under 46 seconds (45.94). Behind him Rai Benjamin (46.17), himself over half a second beneath the previous mark, with Alison Dos Santos (46.72) also running faster than Young’s mark.

The greatest hurdles race in history, it perhaps has cause to be higher up the list.

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4. Yulimar Rojas – Tokyo – August 2021

Yulimar Rojas is the sports most dominant triple jumper. It is a fact made all the more astounding by the fact she started her career as a high jumper.

The Colombian came to Tokyo knowing that a world record was within her grasp and she had many hoping she would do it.

Inessa Kravets jumped 15.50m in the 1995 Gothenburg World Champs, the same competition in which the men’s world record was set. Her world title triumph and subsequent Olympic gold reveal that was no fluke but it was not without some scepticism. The Ukranian was banned twice in her career for performance enhancing drugs.

In May Rojas got within seven centimetres of the mark, two better than her previous best from 2019 and in Tokyo she took lift off. 15.67 metres Rojas now possesses five of the six biggest jumps in history and looks set to rewrite those records some more. Rojas has just turned 26.

3. Anita Wlodarczyk – Tampere – August 2016

No athlete to have ever lived can claim the levels of dominance of Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland. The three-time Olympic champ has broken the world record on four separate occasions.

Wlodarczyk’s 82.98m best from Tampere is truly otherworldly sitting over 2.5m ahead of the next best athlete.

With fifteen of the sixteen best throws in history Wlodarczyk is more than worthy of her place at number three of athletics craziest records.

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2. Usain Bolt – Berlin – August 2009

You could make a case that Bolt’s 200m world record was just as worthy but it is his 100m performance from Berlin that takes our place.

Everyone knew Bolt was special. Beijing had shown us that but it was Berlin that made things silly. 9.58 seconds, eleven hundredths of a second quicker than any other man in history. To make things even more ludicrous it is a wider margin than his 200m world record (0.07 seconds).

Sparking debates of whether Bolt would be the first man under 9.50 seconds, Bolt would never run faster.

You’d hard pressed to find many who think his record will fall anytime soon.

1. Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Seoul – September 1988

Top of our list is a record that may well last half a century or more. Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s performance would make her compete in three of the events as an individual.

  • 100m Hurdles – 12.69s – Would have finished 5th in the Tokyo Olympic Final (1172 Points)
  • High Jump – 1.86m (1054)
  • Shot Put – 15.80m (915)
  • 200m – 22.56s – Would have finished 8th in the Tokyo Olympic 200m Final (1123)
  • Long Jump – 7.27m – Would have won gold in the Tokyo Olympic Long Jump final (1264 – Heptathlon highest score ever for a single event)
  • Javelin – 45.66m (776)
  • 800m – 2.08.51 (987)
  • 7291 Points

Joyner-Kersee stands over 250 points above the next best in history, Carolina Kluft (7032), and has the top six scores in history.

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