11. 10,000 Meters
Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopia, 26:17.53. Keninisa Bekele added the 10,000-meter record to his resume on Aug. 26, 2005, running 26:17.53 in Brussels, Belgium. Bekele's pace-setter was his brother Tariku, who helped Bekele stay five seconds ahead of the record pace through 5,000 meters. Bekele remained ahead of the necessary pace and, as he did when breaking the 5,000 record, Bekele finished strong, with a 57-second final lap.
Check out Kenenisa Bekele's profile page.
12. 110-Meter HurdlesAries Merritt, United States, 12.80. Sept. 7, 2012.
Former record: Dayron Robles, Cuba, 12.87. In 2006, Dayron Robles witnessed the 110-meter hurdles world record being broken, as he ran fourth in the race in which China's Liu Xiang set the former mark of 12.88 seconds. On June 12, 2008 Robles was again on the track for a record-breaking performance, but this time he was the one setting the mark as he nudged the record down to 12.87 with a Grand Prix victory in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Check out Dayron Robles' profile page.
13. 400-Meter Hurdles
Kevin Young, USA, 46.78. Young was a respectable high school hurdler but he didn't receive a major college scholarship. So Young walked on at UCLA and blossomed quickly, winning NCAA 400-meter championships in 1987-88. He later employed an unusual strategy to break the world record at the 1992 Olympics. Whereas top-level hurdlers generally take 13 strides between hurdles in the 400, Young decided to use just 12 on the fourth and fifth hurdles. He'd noticed previously that he was using shorter, choppy strides at that portion of the event. By reducing his strides to 12, Young took longer strides and gained speed.
14. 3,000-Meter Steeplechase
Saif Saaeed Shaheen, Qatar, 7:53.63. The Kenyan-born Shaheen set the mark on Sept. 3, 2004 in Brussels, Belgium, on the same track that former world record-holder Brahim Boulami established his record in 2001. Boulami witnessed his record’s demise first-hand, finishing third in the event. Shaheen sat in third for much of the race, taking the lead with three laps remaining and finishing in 7:53.63.
15. 20-Kilometer Race Walk
Vladimir Kanaykin, Russia, 1:17:16. Kanaykin is the official - but controversial - record-holder courtesy of his performance at the IAAF Race Walking Challenge, held in Saransk, Russia on September 29, 2007. Kanaykin finished in 1:17:16, breaking the previous mark held by Ecuador's Jefferson Perez (1:17:21). In 2008, Sergey Morozov (1:16:43) and Kanaykin (1:16:53) both beat the record at the Russian National Championships, but the performances were disqualified from record consideration when both tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and drew two-year bans.
16. 50-Kilometer Race Walk
Denis Nizhegorodov, Russia, 3:34:14. Nizhegorodov remained strong throughout the race. His fastest lap of the day occurred in the race's 46th kilometer. Nizhegorodov’s record was set during the IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Cheboksary, Russia on May 11, 2008. The previous mark of 3:35:47 was set by Australia’s Nathan Deakes.
Check out Denis Nizhegorodov's profile page.
Patrick Makau, Kenya, 2:03.38. With the now former record-holder Haile Gebrselassie running with him much of the way, Makau was remarkably consistent. Running in the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 25, 2011, Makau ran 61 minutes 44 seconds for the first half of the race, and just 10 seconds slower in the second half. He pulled away from Gebrselassie around the 26-kilometer mark and ditched the pacesetters about six kilometers later. Makau maintained his fast, steady pace despite running alone for about the last 10 kilometers.
Haile Gebrselassie, Ethiopia, 2:03:59. Gebrselassie broke his own world record (2:04.26) at the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 28, 2008, with a time of 2:03:59. Four pacemakers helped keep Gebrselassie on track through 32 kilometers of the 42.2-kilometer (26 miles, 385 yards) event. But he wasn’t alone for the final 10 kilometers, as Kenyans James Kwambai and Charles Kamathi maintained their challenges, pushing Gebrselassie from behind. The Ethiopian finally pulled away in the final five kilometers.
Check out Haile Gebrselassie's profile page.
18. 4 x 100-Meter Relay
Jamaica (Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt), 36.84. Jamaica won the 2012 Olympic gold medal and topped its previous world record of 37.04, set at the 2011 World Championship. Using the same four runners who established the previous mark, the Jamaicans edged a strong United States team on August 11, 2012. The U.S. was slightly ahead for two legs before Yohan Blake edged in front of American Tyson at the end of the third leg. Usain Bolt then completed the victory, running on his third world record-breaking relay squad.
19. 4 x 200-Meter Relay
United States (Mike Marsh, Leroy Burrell, Floyd Heard, Carl Lewis), 1:18.68.
20. 4 x 400-Meter Relay
United States (Jerome Young, Antonio Pettigrew, Tyree Washington, Michael Johnson), 2:54.20. Johnson ran a blazing 43.3-second anchor leg to lead the USA's record-setting performance.