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Summer Olympics 2016: The Most Dominating World Records Set in Rio

Athletes at the Summer Olympics destroyed the record books in sports as varied as swimming, shooting, cycling, archery, and weightlifting.

Records are made to be broken.

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The 2016 Rio Olympics are finished, but the Summer Games will have a lasting impact on the sports in competition. Athletes from around the world set new records in Brazil—and some of those records could end up standing the test of time.

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Here are some of the highlights of the world records set in Brazil:

Neymar, Brazil - Soccer

The Brazilian team won the gold in thrilling fashion on their home soil in Rio—and Neymar was right in the middle of it. The Barcelona star scored the winning goal on penalty kicks against Germany to give Brazil the gold medal—its first Olympic tournament victory. The Olympics gold was the only major tournament that Brazil had yet to win, but now that record is off the checklist for the nation. "That's it," Neymar told ESPN. "We made history." Neymar also made some history himself by scoring the fastest-ever goal in Olympic play at 15 seconds into the semifinal match of the tourney.

Watch highlights of Brazil vs. Germany here.

Qingquan Long, China - Weightlifting Men's 56kg

The Chinese delegation to Rio did not perform as well as they had in London, but weightlifter Qingquan Long did his best to make up for that, setting a world record in the men's 56kg weight class. Long set a new mark with a combined 307kg lift, breaking Halil Mutlu's mark of 305kg set at the Sydney Olympics. Long tied the Olympic mark for his weight class with a a 137kg snatch, and locked up a gold medal—and the record—with a 170kg clean and jerk.

Watch the record-breaking lifts here.

Lasha Talakhadze, Georgia - Weightlifting Men's +105kg

The Georgian weightlifter set multiple records during the course of his competition in the men's +105kg weight class—he completed a snatch of 215kg and set a new mark with a total of 473kg—but his first record was short-lived. After breaking competitor Behdad Salimi’s snatch record, Salimi came and took the record back with a 216kg left—but it was Talakhadze who finished with gold. The combined record came after Talakhadze completed a huge 258kg clean—a whopping 568.79 lbs.

Check out the record-breaking lifts from NBC.

Wayde Van Niekerk, South Africa - Athletics Men’s 400m

Wayde van Niekerk didn’t just win a gold medal—he beat a legendary world record in the process. The South African—whose mother, a former track athlete, could not compete in the Olympics when she was younger due to the nation's policy of apartheid—finished in 43.03 seconds to break Michael Johnson’s record from the 1999 World Championships. Van Niekerk, who’s coached by Anna Botha, a 74-year-old great-grandmother, became the first runner to win an Olympic 400m event from Lane 8.

Carmelo Anthony, United States - Basketball

The United States basketball team blew out Serbia on the final day of the Rio Olympics to take home the gold medal. The win was expected for Team USA and gave Carmelo Anthony his third gold medal in basketball, a record for any player in Olympics history. The New York Knicks star padded the national record books too: Anthony is now the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in USA basketball history.

Check out highlights of the gold medal game here.

Katie Ledecky, United States - Swimming Women's 400m Freestyle

The dominating swimmer won her first individual gold medal of the Rio Olympics with a world-record performance in the 400-meter freestyle event. Ledecky crushed her own world record by almost two seconds, finishing with a time of 3:56.46—well ahead of silver medalist Jazz Carlin of Great Britain, who finished nearly five seconds after Ledecky.

Watch the record-breaking swim here.

Katie Ledecky, United States - Swimming Women's 800m Freestyle

One world record simply wasn’t enough for Ledecky—the American swimmer utterly dominated her competition in the 800m freestyle race, finishing at 8:4.79 seconds to set the new mark. Ledecky took a huge lead in the race and never looked back—she finished the event 12 seconds ahead of silver medalist Jazz Carlin of Great Britain. Ledecky had already set the world record in the event four different times before her fantastic performance in Rio.

Watch the record-breaking swim here.

Nijat Rahimov, Kazakhstan - Weightlifting Men's 77kg

With reigning gold medal winner Lyu Xiaojun of China looking like a lock for the win, Rahimov decided to step his game up in the men's 77kg weightlifting competition. Rahimov moved up 12kg on his second clean and jerk attempt—a big jump for even elite weightlifters—and was successful, setting a new world record with a 214kg lift. The bold move earned Rahimov the gold—and the major upset.

Watch the record-breaking lift here.


Ryan Murphy, United States - Swimming Men's 100m Backstroke

The United States swim team dominated in Rio—Michael Phelps cleaned up with a handful of medals—but backstroke specialist Ryan Murphy also did his part for the squad. Murphy set world and Olympic records with his 51.97-second performance in the event, marking the sixth straight time the United States has taken home gold in the 100m backstroke. Murphy later brought home the 200m backstroke gold to add to the US haul of medals.

Watch the record-breaking race here.

Adam Peaty, Great Britain - Men’s 100m Breaststroke

Great Britain had a fantastic showing at the Rio Olympics—finishing ahead of China with 27 golds—and the first one of that crop came from Peaty in the 100-meter breaststroke. Peaty previously set the world record in his heat race the night before the final with a time of 57.55 seconds, but that wasn’t enough for the swimmer. In the final, Peaty set Olympic and world records with his 57.13-second gold medal performance.

Watch the record-breaking race here.

Kianoush Rostami, Iran - Weightlifting Men’s 85kg

Rostami was able to snatch away the gold medal from Tian Tao of China with a record-breaking performance in the event. The 25-year-old set a record with his combined total of 396 kg for the competition after he lifted 217 kg on his last attempt in the clean and jerk—enough to win over Tian by one kg.

Watch the record-breaking lifts here.

Anita Wlodarczyk, Poland - Athletics Women's Hammer Throw

The hammer throw is one of the most badass physical events in the Olympics. Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk completely dominated the women's field, breaking her own world record while winning the gold, putting up a 82.29-meter throw. (That’s a solid 269 feet, 11 inches.)

Watch the super-strong throw here.

The Rest of the World Records

Woojin Kim, South Korea - Men’s Archery: Set Olympic and world records. Watch the results here.

Katinka Hosszu, Hungary - Swimming Women's 400m Individual Medley: Set Olympic and world records. Watch the race here.

Wei Deng, China - Weightlifting Women's 63kg: Set Olympic and world records. Watch the event here.

Almaz Ayana, Ethiopia - Athletics Women's 10,000m: Set Olympic and world records. Watch the race here.

Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden - Swimming Women’s 100m Butterfly: Set Olympic and world records. Watch the race here.

Great Britain - Cycling Track Women’s Team Pursuit: Set Olympic and world records. Watch the race here.



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