Michael Phelps has broken a 2,000-year-old Olympic record by surpassing the 12 individual titles won by Leonidas of Rhodes. Who was this athlete whose record has taken two millennia to beat, asks Jon Kelly? . . .
The three events at which he triumphed were the stadion, a sprint of roughly 200m; the diaulos, which was twice the distance of the stadion; and the longerhoplitodromos, or race in armour.
Unlike most races, which were run in the nude, the race in armour required competitors to wear heavy battle gear, possibly comprising a helmet, a breastplate, shin armour and a shield made from bronze and wood.
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