Lithuanian Alekna breaks men's athletics oldest world record. GETTY IMAGES

Lithuanian athlete Mykolas Alekna broke the world discus record with an incredible 74.35 metres in Ramona, Oklahoma, on Sunday. The record had stood for almost 38 years.

Mykolas Alekna, silver medallist at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene and bronze in Budapest last year, made history by breaking the oldest standing record in men's athletics. His remarkable throw of 74.35 metres surpassed the previous best mark of 74.08 metres set by Jürgen Schult, representing the former East Germany, on 6 June, 1986.

Schult's record was the longest standing in men's athletics until Sunday, surpassing Jesse Owens' long jump record of 25 years and 79 days. The oldest world record in all athletics is Jarmila Kratochvilova's 1:53.28 seconds in the women's 800 metres, set in July 1983, while the 400 metres was broken by Femke Bol in 2023.

The 21-year-old broke the record on his fifth attempt at the Oklahoma Throws Series World Invitational tournament, a small event in the athletics calendar specifically dedicated to throwing competitions.

The previous best mark in this tournament was set by Berkeley with 71.00 metres in April 2023. European champion Alekna threw over three metres in a stunning performance.

The Lithuanian is one of the favourites for a podium finish at the Paris Games. He is the son of Virgilijus Alekna, a highly decorated athlete with two Olympic gold medals (2000 and 2004), a bronze (2008), and two world titles (2003 and 2005). Until Sunday, he held the second best mark in the world with a throw of 73.88 metres in 2000.

Mykolas took advantage of the favourable conditions in Ramona, where Cuba's Yaimé Pérez had thrown 73.09 metres the day before. Although it was the longest women's throw since 1989, it was more than three metres shy of Gabriele Reinsch's world record of 76.80 metres set in 1988.