Denny's Olympic challenge as discus world record broken

Australian Matthew Denny's quest to win discus gold at the Paris Olympics just got harder, with Mykolas Alekna breaking the oldest world record in men's track and field.

The Lithuanian powerhouse took advantage of windy conditions in the unlikely setting of Ramona, Oklahoma, on Sunday (Monday AEST) to set a new mark of 74.35 metres.

The previous best of 74.08m was set by German Juergen Schult way back in 1986.

Alekna's heroics will come as no surprise to Denny, who predicted such a throw was on the cards after smashing his own national record on Saturday with a heave of 69.35m at the Australian championships in Adelaide.

Having finished fourth at last year's world championships and the Tokyo Olympics, Denny is a serious medal contender at the Paris Games.

Matthew Denny with this 'ticket' for Paris.
Denny has earned his place on Australia's Olympic track and field team for the Paris Games.

But if he is to secure top spot on the podium, the Queenslander will need to find a way past reigning world and Olympic champion Daniel Stahl from Sweden, as well as Alekna, who at just 21 is six years younger than the Australian.

"I've said my focus was to win the Olympics and a lot of people haven't taken that too seriously," Denny said after his record-breaking throw on Saturday.

"Which is fair enough considering I'm fourth in the order right now, fourth in the rankings and I haven't broken that 70-metre mark.

"Today we didn't have huge winds or anything.

"That's a replicatable (sic) throw in an Olympics and that changes my argument on being competitive and looking for that win in Paris."

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