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Discus thrower Mykolas Alekna breaks oldest world record in men’s track and field

Lithuanian Mykolas Alekna broke a 37-year-old world record in the men’s discus, the oldest world record in men’s track and field.

Alekna, a 21-year-old junior at Cal-Berkeley, threw the four-pound discus 74.35 meters (nearly 244 feet) in Ramona, Oklahoma, on Sunday.

German Jürgen Schult set the previous world record of 74.08 meters in June 1986.

Alekna is the son of 2000 and 2004 Olympic discus champion Virgilijus Alekna, who was bumped to third on the all-time list with a personal best of 73.88 meters.

In 2022, he became the first teenage man to win a throwing medal in world championships history with a silver, according to Bill Mallon of the OlyMADMen. Alekna took bronze at 2023 Worlds.

On April 6, Alekna improved his personal best from 71.00 meters to 71.39 to become the 10th-best performer in history at the time.

He is set to make his Olympic debut in Paris and can become the youngest Olympic men’s discus gold medalist since American Al Oerter won the first of his four golds in 1956, according to the OlyMADMen.

Swede Daniel Ståhl is the reigning Olympic and world champion.

Now, the longest-standing men’s track and field world record is Soviet Yuriy Sedykh’s hammer throw mark (86.74 meters) from August 1986. After that, it’s American Mike Powell’s 8.95-meter long jump from the 1991 World Championships.

The oldest overall world record in the sport is Czech Jarmila Kratochvílová's time in the women’s 800m -- 1:53.28 from July 1983.