2012 Olympics: The 25 World Records of the London Games

John RozumCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2012

2012 Olympics: The 25 World Records of the London Games

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    Are you surprised that the 2012 Summer Olympics were overcome with numerous world records?

    Of course not.

    Because when the world's best athletes come together for over two weeks of non-stop action, measures including time, distance and weight that determine results are emphatically vulnerable. Then again, records were meant to be broken.

    After all, when you're a world-class athlete it sometimes requires a world-record performance to win anyway. So, in honor of the 30th Olympiad, let's check out all the new world records set in London.

Im Dong-Hyun Starts off Strong

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    Sport: Archery

    Event: Men's Individual

    Athlete: Im Dong-Hyun, South Korea

    Score: 699 points

    Date: July 27, 2012

     

    South Korea's Im Dong-Hyun began his 2012 Olympic Games in world-record fashion. Unfortunately, he failed to medal in the individual event but won bronze as part of South Korea's men's team.

South Korea Breaks Own Record

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    Sport: Archery

    Event: Men's Team

    Athlete: South Korea

    Score: 2,087 points

    Date: July 27, 2012

     

    Just as Im Dong-Hyun did the same day, the South Koreans broke their own team score during the rankings round of men's team archery. Perhaps the start was their peak, however, as South Korea failed to three-peat gold by taking bronze in London.

Rudisha Runs to a Golden World Record

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    Sport: Track and Field

    Event: Men's 800-meter run

    Athlete: David Rudisha, Kenya

    Time: 1:40.91

    Date: Aug. 9, 2012

     

    David Rudisha was expected to win the men's 800. Still, besting his own world record by 0.10 seconds was quite impressive. Considering that he's only 23 years old, Rudisha could potentially break the 1:40.00 mark in Rio.

The Fastest Women in the World

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    Sport: Track and Field 

    Event: Women's 4x100-meter relay

    Athlete: United States

    Time: 40.82 seconds

    Date: Aug. 10, 2012

     

    The world record of 41.37 seconds had survived since 1985. Well, Team USA, comprised of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter, thought otherwise.

    They smashed the record and did so in the final to win gold.

The Fastest Men in the World

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    Sport: Track and Field 

    Event: Men's 4x100-meter relay

    Athlete: Jamaica

    Time: 36.84 seconds

    Date: Aug. 11, 2012

     

    There are no words to justify how fast Jamaica ran the men's 4x100-meter relay in the 2012 Summer Olympics—36.84 seconds averages out to 9.21 seconds per leg. Just...wow.

The Fast Walking Does the Talking

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    Sport: Track and Field 

    Event: Women's 20-kilometer race walk

    Athlete: Elena Lashmanova, Russia

    Time: 1:25:02

    Date: Aug. 11, 2012

     

    Russia's Elena Lashmanova didn't reach the first-place position until the women's race walk was toward the final stretch. In short, that gives credible meaning to the phrase, "It's not how you start, it's how you finish."

    And she probably walks faster than I run.

Hosts Sprint to Gold in World Record Time

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    Sport: Cycling 

    Event: Men's Team Sprint

    Athlete: Great Britain

    Time: 42.600 seconds

    Date: Aug. 2, 2012

     

    What's most impressive about Great Britain's performance was that they previously set the world record at 42.747 earlier in the same competition.

    When the final came around, the team hit another gear and surged past their record and won gold to top it off.

Hosts Pursue Gold and Catch a World Record in the Process

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    Sport: Cycling

    Event: Men's Team Pursuit

    Athlete: Great Britain

    Time: 3:51.659 

    Date: Aug. 3, 2012

     

    Much like their fellow sprint team members, Great Britain's men's pursuit squad broke the world record early in the competition. Then in the final, Britain totally burned Australia for gold by nearly three seconds.

What Would You Rather Have: World Record or Gold Medal?

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    Sport: Cycling

    Event: Women's Team Sprint

    Athlete: China

    Time: 32.422 seconds 

    Date: Aug. 2, 2012

     

    Along the same lines as South Korea in archery, China's women's team sprint set the world record but failed to win gold after being relegated, per BBC Sports.

    After breaking the record in the qualification with a time of 32.447 seconds, China clocked 32.422 in Round 1.

Another World Record Pursuit from the Hosts

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    Sport: Cycling

    Event: Women Team Pursuit

    Athlete: Great Britain

    Time: 3:14.051 

    Date: Aug. 4, 2012

     

    Great Britain's women's team pursuit put on quite a show in London. Through each round of the team pursuit, Britain kept breaking, then re-breaking the world record.

    Finally, the British closed out with a gold-medal win over the U.S. by over five seconds.

World's Best Marksman Gets No Medal

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    Sport: Shooting

    Event: Men's 25-meter Rapid Fire Pistol

    Athlete: Alexei Klimov, Russia

    Score: 592 points

    Date: Aug. 2, 2012

     

    Alexei Klimov broke his own world record with 592 points in the qualification round of the men's 25-meter rapid fire pistol.

    He is, however, a part of the record-setting curse in terms of failing to win gold. Just like the South Korean archers and China's women's team pursuit in cycling, Klimov set the world record and failed to reach the top of the podium.

South African Unknown Makes Himself Known

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    Sport: Swimming

    Event: Men's 100-Meter Breaststroke

    Athlete: Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa

    Time: 58.46 seconds

    Date: July 29, 2012

     

    Cameron van der Burgh was virtually unknown compared to the majority of swimmers at the London Olympics. He then delivered a world-record performance, though not without controversy. According to the Sydney Morning Herald via Jason Devaney of NBC Olympics:

    In breaststroke, competitors are allowed to take one dolphin kick at the start and one after each turn before starting their breaststroke kick. But with no underwater video judging, swimmers are sometimes able to sneak in an extra dolphin kick.

    Van der Burgh, who is from South Africa, spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald and admitted to breaking the rules. He also said other swimmers employ the same tactic.

Hungary for Gold on Third Opportunity

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    Sport: Swimming

    Event: Men's 200-Meter Breaststroke

    Athlete: Daniel Gyurta, Hungary

    Time: 2:07.28

    Date: Aug. 1, 2012

     

    Twice before in the men's 200-meter breaststroke final has Hungary's Daniel Gyurta failed to win gold. Well, the man did so on his third try, putting relevance to the cliche, "Third time's a charm."

Long Distance Dominance

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    Sport: Swimming

    Event: Men's 1,500-Meter Freestyle

    Athlete: Sun Yang, China

    Time: 14:31.02

    Date: Aug. 4, 2012

     

    The men's 1,500-meter freestyle is arguably the most grueling swimming event in the pool. That said, China's Sun Yang won by over eight seconds to claim his second gold in London (first was 400 free).

The Beginning of a Legacy

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    Sport: Swimming

    Event: Women's 400-Meter Individual Medley

    Athlete: Ye Shiwen, China

    Time: 4:28.43

    Date: July 28, 2012

     

    Ye Shiwen is only 16 years old, and not only did she win gold at world-record pace, but she demolished the previous record and competition in the process. We can only begin to imagine the amount of potential this impressive yet young swimmer possesses.

Flying to Gold in Under 56 Seconds

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    Sport: Swimming

    Event: Women's 100-Meter Butterfly

    Athlete: Dana Vollmer, United States 

    Time: 55.98 seconds

    Date: July 29, 2012

     

    That coveted 56-second mark had be tested more than a few times before Dana Vollmer came along. Then the American decided to put the pressure on time itself, winning by 0.02 seconds.

Soni Shines in Signature Event

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    Sport: Swimming

    Event: Women's 200-Meter Breaststroke

    Athlete: Rebecca Soni, United States 

    Time: 2:19.59

    Date: Aug. 2, 2012

     

    Lightning struck twice for Rebecca Soni at the Summer Olympics. She first set the 200-meter breaststroke world record four years ago in Beijing. Then she flirted with the 2:20.00 mark by hitting it dead on in 2012 during the semifinals on Aug 1.

    The next day you could kiss 2:20.00 goodbye, as 2:19.59 became her new record.

Franklin Backs Her Way in to World Record

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    Sport: Swimming

    Event: Women's 200-Meter Backstroke

    Athlete: Missy Franklin, United States

    Time: 2:04.06

    Date: Aug. 3, 2012

     

    Missy Franklin is well ahead of Michael Phelps' pace en route to career Olympic medals. And the 200-meter backstroke world record will just be the beginning of many highlights we see from her over the next decade.

USA Quickly Wins Medley Relay

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    Sport: Swimming

    Event: Women's 4x100-Meter Medley Relay

    Athlete: United States

    Time: 3:52.05

    Date: Aug. 4, 2012

     

    This world record was expected. The USA had the fourth-fastest qualifying time of 3:58.88 without their best racers. In the final, everything once again came together and the Americans hold another world record.

Consistency Is the Key

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    Sport: Weightlifting

    Event: 62 Kilograms, Combined

    Athlete: Kim Un Guk, North Korea

    Kilograms/lbs: 327 kilos (721 pounds)

    Date: July 30, 2012

     

    One of the most consistent performances in weightlifting, North Korea's Kim Un Guk added the world record to his repertoire after setting the snatch Olympic record for his first lift.

Well Ahead of the Competition

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    Sport: Weightlifting

    Event: 77kg, Snatch and Combined

    Athlete: Lu Xiaojun, China

    Kilograms/lbs: Snatch 179 kilos (386 lbs), combined 379 kilos (836 lbs)

    Date: Aug. 1, 2012

     

    China's Lu Xiaojun got off to a great start with the snatch world record at the 77-kilogram weight class. He never looked back, either, as he was the only Olympian in his class to lift over 200 kilos on the clean-and-jerk.

How Does Almost 1,000 Lbs Between Two Lifts Sound?

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    Sport: Weightlifting

    Event: 94 kg, Clean-and-Jerk and Combined

    Athlete: Ilya Ilyin, Kazakhstan

    Kilograms/lbs: Clean-and-Jerk 233 kilos (514 lbs), Combined 418 kilos (922 lbs)

    Date: Aug. 4, 2012

     

    In being tied for the lead with 185 kilos on the snatch, Kazahkstan's Ilya Ilyin just overpowered the competition on the clean-and-jerk. Doing so led to a world record on the lift and for the combined total as well.

A World-Record Lift Was Needed for Gold

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    Sport: Weightlifting

    Event: 53kg Clean-and-Jerk

    Athlete: Zulfiya Chinshanlo, Kazakhstan

    Kilograms/lbs: 131 kilos (289 lbs)

    Date: July 29, 2012

     

    Just like her fellow countryman Ilya Ilyin, Kazahkstan's Zulfiya Chinshanlo set a world record in her class in the clean-and-jerk. More impressively, this performance came after being down once the snatch lift was completed. So, with a big result needed to gain the lead, Chinshanlo did just that and won gold.

Great Lift to Up the Ante

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    Sport: Weightlifting

    Event: 75-plus kg, Snatch

    Athlete: Tatiana Kashirina, Russia 

    Kilograms/lbs: 151 kilos (333 lbs)

    Date: Aug. 5, 2012

     

    The women's 75-plus-kilogram weight class was the most exciting during the lifting competition. Russia's Tatiana Kashirina began with a world record on the snatch and looked like taking the gold would be a cinch.

    That is, until the next lifter literally raised the bar.

Olympic and World-Record Numbers Lead to 1 Kilo Difference for Gold

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    Sport: Weightlifting

    Event: 75-plus kg, Combined

    Athlete: Zhou Lulu, China

    Kilograms/lbs: 333 kilos (734 lbs)

    Date: Aug. 5, 2012

     

    Sitting in second place after the snatch lift, China's Zhou Lulu would set an Olympic record at 187 kilos (412 pounds) on the clean-and-jerk.

    The lift would push her total to 333 kilos, which was one kilo ahead of second place. Astonishing.

     

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