From world records in the 400m hurdles and triple jump to super-competitive clashes on the track and in the field, here are some highlights from this month’s Games

What were your favourite events at the Tokyo Olympics? Here our some of our picks.

Warholm smashes world record

The men’s 400m hurdles was keenly anticipated but it exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations as Karsten Warholm smashed his own world record of 46.70 with 45.94.

The greatest race in history? It’s certainly right up there.

The Norwegian was pushed all the way by Rai Benjamin, with the American also inside the old world record with 46.17. In third, Alison dos Santos also excelled with a South American record 46.72.

“My coach said a 45-something is possible,” said Warholm. “To do it is something else. I put my whole soul into it.”

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Record-breaking McLaughlin beats Muhammad and Bol

Matching the men’s 400m hurdles race, Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Femke Bol put up an equally brilliant show in the women’s event.

The world record fell with McLaughlin clocking 51.46 to beat the 51.90 she ran in June. “I saw Dalilah ahead of me with one to go,” said the winner. “I just thought ‘run your race’.”

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Sydney McLaughlin breaks the world record (Getty)

Rojas on fire in triple jump

Some athletes are so good that breaking the world record looks like it will be only a matter of time. This was the case with Yulimar Rojas in the women’s triple jump and she delivered on the biggest stage.

The Venezuelan beat Inessa Kravets’ long-standing global mark with 15.67m in the final round. Her nearest rivals, meanwhile, were more than half a metre adrift as she totally dominated the competition.

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Yulimar Rojas (Getty)

Ingebrigtsen fulfils his destiny

He is still only 20 but Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s victory in the 1500m in an Olympic and European record of 3:28.32 was about 12 years in the making.

The Norwegian famously began training seriously when he was a young child and has sidestepped the much-feared teenage burn-out that ends so many promising careers.

In Tokyo he came of age with a commanding performance to out-kick world champion Timothy Cheruiyot. In a stacked field, Josh Kerr burst out of the pack to earn a place on the podium in a time of 3:29.05 that only one Briton, Mo Farah, has beaten.

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Jakob Ingebrigtsen wins the Olympic 1500m gold (Getty)

Teenagers dominate women’s 800m

These were a Games where new stars were created and young athletes made their mark. If the event had been held in 2020 as planned, it would probably have been too early for them. But the postponement until 2021 gave them time to develop into Olympic medallists.

This was nowhere more apparent than in the women’s 800m as Athing Mu and Keely Hodgkinson – both aged 19 – finished one-two in a lightning quick final

Mu smashed the US record with 1:55.21 and Hodgkinson improved the British best to 1:55.88. “I just go out there and run,” said Mu. “Whatever comes is going to come.”

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Athing Mu takes 800m gold ahead of Keely Hodgkinson (Getty)

Barshim and Tamberi share gold

It was the feel-good moment of this summer’s Olympics. After clearing 2.37, Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy could have endured a tense sudden death jump-off for the title. Instead, they agreed to share gold.

“This night is memorable. We make our dream come true. We are Olympic champions together,” said Tamberi.

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Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi share gold (Getty)

Jamaican sprint queen Thompson-Herah

What a tremendous Olympic Games for Elaine Thompson-Herah. First she won the 100m in 10.61. Then she captured the 200m title in 21.53.

It made her the fastest woman alive in both events and for good measure she then anchored Jamaica to 4x100m victory on the final weekend.

“I just need to sleep as my body is in shock mode!” she said.

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Elaine Thompson-Herah celebrates Olympic victory (Getty)

Hassan completes medal-winning treble

Many felt Sifan Hassan was crazy for attempting a 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m treble – and even the Dutch athlete herself didn’t disagree.

She began by winning the 5000m gold and then took 1500m bronze behind Faith Kipyegon and Laura Muir. On the penultimate day of the Games she then won her second title with a 10,000m victory.

“When I warmed up I was telling myself that I’m so stupid [for attempting the treble] but it was do or die!” she said.

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Sifan Hassan wins the 5000m (Getty)

Marathon king retains his crown

Who better to draw the curtain on the Tokyo Olympics than Eliud Kipchoge. While many of the runners dropped out due to torrid temperatures and humidity on the roads of Sapporo, the 36-year-old Kenyan took it in his stride as he strode away from his rivals in majestic fashion to win by 80 seconds in 2:08:28.

“I’m happy to defend my title and show the next generation if you respect the sport and be disciplined you can accomplish your assignment,” he said.

Eliud Kipchoge (Getty)

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Chopra makes history for India

There were many other fine performances that deserve to be in this list. Damian Warner smashed the 9000-point barrier to win the decathlon, for example. Until recently, Ryan Crouser’s 23.30m to win the shot put would have been a world record. Malaika Mihambo and Mitos Tentoglou, meanwhile, won long jump titles with exciting last-gasp efforts.

When it comes to the sheer impact that a performance makes, though, it is hard to beat Neeraj Chopra’s victory in the men’s javelin. India has a massive population yet has never won an Olympic athletics title until now. Could it inspire more of its 1.36 billion people to put on track and field spikes and shoes?

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Neeraj Chopra savours his javelin victory (Getty)

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