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The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, after being postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had a delayed start and was held without any spectators in the stands. More than 11,000 athletes across 33 sports competed in the quadrennial event as the Olympic spirit prevailed over the pandemic. 

Young athletes built their reputations while seasoned campaigners lived up to their billing, shattering some long-standing records in the process. Here’s a list of those who broke some long-standing records at Tokyo 2020. 

Yulimar Rojas, women’s triple jump

Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas jumped 15.67m in her final attempt to smash a 26-year-old world record in the women's triple jump. She won the gold medal at Tokyo 2020 and bettered the previous record of 15.50m, which was set by Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets in 1995.

Karsten Warholm, men’s 400m hurdles

Karsten Warholm of Norway finished the men’s 400m hurdles in 45.94 seconds, bettering his own world record by 0.76 seconds. His effort was enough to break Kevin Young’s (USA) 29-year-old Olympic record 46.78 set in Barcelona 1992. USA’s Rai Benjamin (46.17) and Brazil’s Alison dos Santos (46.72) finished second and third respectively, bettering Young’s Olympic record as well. India’s MP Jabir had finished 7th in his heat and did not advance to the semi-finals.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, women’s 100m

Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica became the second-fastest woman in history after winning the women’s 100m sprint in 10.61 seconds at the Tokyo Olympics. The 29-year-old broke Florence Griffith Joyner’s long-standing Olympics record of 10.62 seconds set at the Seoul Games in 1988. She fell 0.12 seconds short of Florence’s 33-year-old world record. India’s Dutee Chand finished 45th out of 54 competitors. 

An San, women’s individual archery 

South Korean archer An San broke a 25-year-old Olympic record in the women's individual qualification round, scoring 680 points out of 720. The earlier record of 673 was set by Ukraine’s Lina Herasymenko at the 1996 Atlanta Games. India’s Deepika Kumari lost 0-6 to the 20-year-old Korean in the quarter-final. 

Tatjana Schoenmaker, women’s 200m breaststroke

Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa won the women’s 200m breaststroke in 2:18.95 seconds, breaking the world record of 2:19.11 set by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen at the 2013 world championships in Barcelona. Still just 24, she has plenty of time to further improve on her time.

Featured photo : Raphael Alves / AFP

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