21. 4 x 800-Meter Relay
Kenya (Joseph Mutua, William Yiampoy, Ismael Kombich, Wilfred Bungei), 7:02.43. The Kenyans set their mark at the 2006 Memorial van Damme in Brussels, Belgium.
22. 4 x 1,500-Meter Relay
Kenya (William Biwott Tanui, Gideon Gathimba, Geoffrey Rono, Augustine Kiprono Choge), 14:36.23. The Kenyan quartet beat Germany's 32-year old mark by more than two seconds at the Memorial van Damme meet in Brussels, Belgium on Sept. 4, 2009.
23. High Jump
Javier Sotomayor, Cuba, 2.45 meters (8 feet, ½ inch). Javier Sotomayor set the current world high jump record on July 27, 1993. He first established the world mark with a 2.43-meter jump at the Caribbean Championships in Puerto Rico on July 30, 1989. Sotomayor then broke the eight-foot (2.44-meter) barrier before setting the current mark.
24. Pole VaultRenaud Lavillenie, France, 6.16 meters (20 feet, 2½ inches). Competing in Donetsk, Ukraine - the home town of former world record-holder Sergey Bubka - and with Bubka in attendance, Lavillenie missed twice at 6.01/19-8½, succeeded on his third attempt, then cleared 6.16 on his first try. Although the record was set indoors, it's accepted as the overall pole vault world record. Bubka set his previous record of 6.15/20-2 in Donetsk in 1993. He owns the outdoor world record of 6.14/20-1¾.
25. Long Jump
Mike Powell, United States, 8.95 meters (29 feet, 4½ inches). Carl Lewis entered the 1991 world championships in Tokyo with a 10-year, 65-meet winning streak in the long jump, but fellow American Mike Powell ended the streak with a record-setting effort of 8.95 meters (29 feet, 4½ inches), besting Bob Beamon's 23-year-old mark. Lewis led the Tokyo event, held on Aug. 3, when he leaped a personal best 8.91 meters (29-2¾) on his fourth jump. Powell then surpassed his rival on his fifth jump.
26. Triple Jump
Jonathan Edwards, Great Britain, 18.29 meters (60 feet, ¼ inch). Edwards was a solid jumper – winning the bronze medal at the 1993 World Championships – but didn’t become a record contender until his breakout season of 1995, when he topped the triple jump mark three times. First, he flew past Willie Banks’ record (17.97 meters, 58 feet, 11½ inches) with two wind-aided jumps, then edged past Banks with a legal 17.98/58-11¾ in Salamanca, Spain. Shortly thereafter, Edwards opened the 1995 World Championship final by leaping 18.16/59-7, then topped himself with a second-round 18.29.
27. Shot Put
Randy Barnes, United States, 23.12 meters (75 feet, 10 inches). It’s one of the oldest and most controversial marks in the track and field record book. Barnes was not only ready to take a run at Ulf Timmerman’s world record in the spring of 1990 – Barnes claims to have thrown 79-2 in practice before breaking the mark – but he called his shot. Days before the Jack in the Box Invitational in Los Angeles, Barnes told reporters that Timmerman’s record “should go” at the May 20 meet. Go it did. All of Barnes’ six attempts traveled past 70 feet. He scored the record on his second try, then went on to average 73-10¾ for the day. Less than three months later, however, Barnes tested positive for an anabolic steroid. Barnes’ two-year suspension was upheld on appeal, although the review panel criticized the drug testing procedure on which his suspension was based.
Read more about Barnes' 1996 gold medal-winning performance.
28. Discus ThrowJurgen Schult, East Germany, 74.08 meters (243 feet).
29. Hammer ThrowYuriy Syedikh, USSR, 86.74 meters (284 feet, 7 inches).
30. Javelin ThrowJan Zelezny, Czech Republic, 98.48 meters 323 feet, 1 inch).
Ashton Eaton, United States, 9,039 points. Ashton Eaton ran on his favorite track, Oregon's Hayward Field, but he had to overcame rainy weather during the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. Nevertheless, Eaton posted four personal bests on his way to victory with 9,039 points, breaking Roman Sebrle's 2001 record by 13 points. Eaton needed to run better than 4:16.23 in the closing event, the 1500 meters, about two seconds less than his previous personal best. He closed the race strong and finished in 4:14.48.
On day one, Eaton ran the 100 in 10.21 seconds, then leaped 8.23 meters (27 feet) in the long jump, both of which were not only personal bests but all-time decathlon records. Eaton then threw 14.20/46-7¼ in the shot put and high-jumped 2.05/6-8¾. He closed the day by running 46.70 in a driving rainstorm in the 400. On the second day Eaton ran the 110 hurdles in 13.70 seconds, threw the discus 42.81/140-5, cleared a personal best 5.30/17-4½ in the pole vault and threw the javelin 58.87/193-1 before wrapping up his record performance in the 1500.