No less than 37 world record were broken during the 2012 Olympic games on the track, the pool, Cycling, Rowing, Weightlifting, Shooting and Archery competitions, with Usain Bolt anchoring the Jamaican team in the 4×100 and Rebecca Soni of the United States involved in no less than 3 new records, including setting two in the space of 24 hours.
David Rudisha of Kenya was the first athlete to set a world record inside the Olympic stadium in London, becoming the first person to ever run inside 1:41 in the 800 meters, setting the new record at 1:40.91.
A day later the USA’s women set a new world record in the 4×100 meters relay, as Allyson Felix, Tianna Madison, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter ran a 40.82 in the final.
Russian Elena Lashmanova of Russia took the gold in the women’s 20 kilometers walking event, setting a new world record with a time of 1:25:02.
The final world record was another relay race, the 4×100 meters relay for men, as Jamaica, with Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt exploded on the track, running a 36.84.
The first world record broken in the pool was by the wondrous Ye Shiwen of China, a 16 year old girl who caused a lot of talk around her and the incredible record she set in the 400 meters individual medley, swimming a 4:28.43 in the final and out-swimming male swimmers in the final 100 meters with her time. She later took the gold in the 200 meters medley.
Dana Vollmer of the United States took her first individual gold medal and fourth in her Olympic career in the 100 meters butterfly, swimming a 55.98.
Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa, on the same day (July 29), broke the world record in the 100 meters breaststroke, winning gold, his first Olympic medal ever, swimming a 58.46.
The breaststroke record at the double distance, 200 meters, was broken as well, as Daniel Gyurta of Hungary, who took silver at this event when he was 15 back in Athens, won the gold medal by swimming a 2:07.28.
Rebecca Soni of the United States was involved in three world records. She broke the record in the 200 meters breaststroke twice, first in the semifinal and then in the final with 2:19.59. Later on she’d go on to break the 4×100 meters medley relay, alongside Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt with a 3:52.05.
Missy Franklin got to break a record in the 200 meters backstroke, winning one of her four gold medals in the games, swimming a 2:04.06 in the final.
China’s Sun Yang was one of the biggest sensations in the pool, taking two gold medals (400, 1500), a silver in the 200 and a bronze in the 4×200 relay. In the 1500, he set a new world record with 14:31.02.
In Cycling, the first world record broken was by Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish of Great Britain in the women’s team sprint, setting a world record time of 32.526 in the qualification.
In the same event, the Chinese duo of Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang broke the world record twice, once in qualifying and then in the first round with 34.422.
Next up to break a Cycling world record were the British foursome of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh in the men’s team pursuit, breaking it once in qualification and the again in the final, taking gold with 3:51.659.
Next up were the men’s team sprint trio of Chris Hoy, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, setting a world record in the first round and again in the final with 42.600.
In the women’s team pursuit, also won by Great Britain, the world record was broken by Danielle King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell in the qualification round with a 3:15.669. A day later they broke the same record twice, eventually setting it at 3:14.051 in the final.
The first weightlifting world record broken in these games was credited to Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan in the women’s 53 kilograms, setting a new world record with 131 kilograms at clean and jerk, taking the gold medal.
Next was Kim Un-Guk of North Korea in the men’s 62 kilograms, setting a new world record at the total with 327 kilograms.
In the men’s 77 kilograms weightlifting event, it was China’s Lü Xiaojun setting two world records – At snatch with 175 kilograms and the total as well with 379 kilograms.
Ilya Ilin of Kazakhstan took gold in the men’s 94 kilograms, setting a new world record at clean and jerk with 233 kilograms and at the total with 418 kilograms.
Tatiana Kashirina of Russia ended up with the silver medal in the women’s +75 kilograms, setting a new world record at snatch with 151 kilograms. The gold medalist, Zhou Lulu of China, set a world record with a total of 333 kilograms.
In Rowing, the men’x coxless pair from New Zealand of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, taking the gold medal in the event, set a new world record in the heats with 6:08.50.
Sergei Martynov of Belarus won the gold medal in the 50 meters rifle prone, scoring a 705.5 in the final.
Jessica Rossi of Italy won the women’s trap, setting two world records along the way. First in the first round and then in the final with a 99.
Im Dong-Hyun was responsible for two world records on the same day. The South Korean, a gold medalist from Athens and Beijing had to settle for bronze in the team event this time. In the men’s individual ranking round he scored a 699, and he also set one in the team event, alongside Kim Bub-Min and Oh Jin-Hyek (the gold medalist in the individual event), scoring 2087 points in the ranking round.