Mikio Oda of Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan placed sixth in the triple jump at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.
Four years later, at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, Oda edged Levi Casey of the United States by four centimetres to win the gold medal and become Asia's first Olympic champion in an individual event. He also competed in the long jump in both 1924 and 1928, and in 1928 he placed ninth in the high jump. In 1931, while still a student at Waseda University, Oda triple-jumped 15.58 metres to set a world record.
When the Olympic Games were held in Tokyo in 1964, the Olympic flag was raised to a height of 15.21 metres to honour Oda's winning Olympic jump of 36 years earlier. Oda died 2 December 1998 at the age of 93. In 2000, a panel of track and field experts voted him the Male Asian Athlete of the Century.