First-place finishes are not always an achievement up for grabs at the Summer Olympics. Every four years, the Summer Olympics enable athletes to test themselves against their predecessors by chasing a hatful of records.
At the previous Summer Olympics in Rio, records were smashed, history was created, legends confirmed and superstars born. More records are sure to fall in Tokyo, where the world's elite competitors will be busy chasing the elusive Olympic glory.
Dominance of the United States in athletics at Summer Olympics
The United States' emergence as a global force in the international sporting domain is secret to none. And nowhere has this been more on display than at the Summer Olympics.
Ever since the United States made its Summer Olympics debut, it has been the most successful country of all, netting the most Olympic gold medals and the most medals overall.
This proficiency at the Summer Olympics is most highlighted by the United States' prowess in the field of athletics. It is seated atop the athletics table with over 800 medals, the best-ever haul by any country alone so far.
Top US male athletes with records at Summer Olympics
As we wonder who might steal the show in Tokyo this year, here is a look at the top heralded records by American male athletes.
#7 Kevin Young (400m Hurdles)
Record: 46.78 seconds
At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona emerged a new champion in the 400m hurdles who went on to set a world record still untouched to this day. That's Kevin Young.
He became the first-ever and only athlete to run the race in under 46.78 seconds.
Fresh off his magnificent Olympic triumph, he won gold at the Stuttgart World Championships the following year.
#6 Charles Austin (High Jump)
Not everybody can jump as high as Charles Austin. He achieved an unbelievable feat of jumping 7 feet and 10 inches during the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.
He set a new record, which stands unbroken till today. Interestingly, Austin had to jump 22 inches higher than his height to achieve this distinction.
#5 Kenny Harrison (Triple Jump)
Kenny Harrison set an Olympic record in triple jumping at the 1996 Summer Olympics after his gold medal-winning mark of 18.09. To date, the record still stands the test of time.
His extraordinary feat came to be regarded as the best jump in the triple jump event in Olympic history.
#4 Ryan Crouser (Shot Put)
Ryan Crouser's brilliance in Rio Olympics thrust him into the global spotlight as a new shot put champion.
He stood first in the shot put event at the 2016 Summer Olympics, creating a new Olympic record of 22.52m. This feat earned Crouser the men's shot put gold medal.
#3 4x400m relay team
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, the American parade of medallists continued with David Neville.
Having won bronze in the men's 400m race, David later teamed with LaShawn Merritt, Angelo Taylor, and Jeremy Wariner in the 4x400m relay to set a new Olympic record timing of 2:55:39.
#2 Ashton Eaton (Decathlon)
Record: 8893 points
Eaton is one of the most renowned decathletes of all time. Eaton stunned the world by registering a new world record in the indoor heptathlon.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, he won a gold medal in decathlon. He doubled his gold tally at the Rio Summer Olympics.
#1 Bob Beamon (Long Jump)
Record: 8.90 m
Bob Beamon was one of the most dominant athlete that America has ever produced on the Olympic stage.
The legendary long jumper jumped 29 feet and two a half inches at the 1968 Summer Olympics, paving roads to a new Olympic record.
And fifty years later, Beamon’s record still remains intact.