Those who watched the 2012 Games in London would have been treated to four world records being broken across the 47 disciplines within the sport of athletics.
David Rudisha’s 1:40.91 in the men’s 800m was perhaps the most high profile, while the Jamaican men’s 4x100m relay team, with Usain Bolt bringing the baton home, set a world’s best for the second Olympics in succession.
Over in the women’s events, the USA’s sprint relay team also posted the quickest time ever, eclipsing a German record from 1985, and Elena Lashmanova set a best in the 20km walk.
All barring the latter still stand heading to this summer’s event in South America.
However, if athletics world records are to be broken again in an Olympic environment, these are the three which arguably look most likely:
Anita Wlodarczyk – Women’s Hammer
Giving yourself a birthday present is not something everyone chooses to do. But given that Wlodarczyk would have turned 31 just 10 days before the women’s hammer final, it can be excused in this instance.
The Pole is already the record holder thanks to her throw of 81.08m in Poland last year, which represented the third time she had broken the world record.
Her best this year is 80.26m, which is virtually 4m further than anyone else.
Almaz Ayana – Women’s 5,000m
Ayana has already set the second quickest time ever over this distance this year when running 14:12.59 in the Diamond League event in Rome. Tirunesh Dibaba’s current record is just over a second faster.
The good thing with Ayana is that she is a front runner who tends to set her own fractions out in front. She has certainly had minimal help from the designated pacemakers employed to target a certain time in Diamond League competition.
The main concern would be that the Ethiopian is also in line to contest the 10,000m final on the opening day of the athletics programme and qualifying for the 5,000m on day five. The 5,000m final is due to be contested within the evening session of day eight and whether Ayana will have it in her legs to go all out for records is an unknown.
Christian Taylor – Men’s Triple Jump
Only five triple jumpers have ever leapt beyond the magical 18m mark, with Jonathan Edwards still top of the pile with his 18.29m dating back over two decades.
Taylor fell just 8cm short of this distance when winning the World Championships last year and at the age of 26, is arguably just entering his peak.
His 17.78m in the latest Diamond League event in London is a world lead for 2016 and suggests the US athlete is rounding into form at the perfect time.
Ladbrokes is not an official sponsor of the Olympics and is no way affiliated with any of the competing athletes, events or competitions being held in Rio de Janeiro this summer.