Athletics has risen to prominence with sprinters like Usain Bolt bringing the sport into the limelight. Today we're taking a look at some of the fastest men alive and some of the statistics behind their incredible feats.
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This Canadian sprinter ran a world record time of 9.84 seconds in the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta. Not only did he break the record, but he did it in the final to win his gold medal. He picked up another gold medal at the Atlanta Games as a member of the 4x100m relay team. Despite his record being broken a few years later, he still holds the 50m world record with a time of 5.56 to reach that distance.
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A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Thompson ran his personal best time of 9.82 seconds in his home country at a 2014 race in Port of Spain. He's also competed numerous times on the international stage for his country and has 3 Olympic medals to his name, including a gold in the 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
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Steve is the first of many Jamaican sprinters on our list. He clocked an impressive time of 9.80 seconds at a 2011 meet in Eugene, Oregon. He also won a World Championship gold medal in 2009 with the Jamaican 4x100m relay team. Unfortunately he tested positive for illegal drugs, ending his career in 2011.
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Greene ran a time of 9.79 seconds in Athens in 1999, which was a new world record at the time. He dominated the sport in the late 90's and early 2000's, notably winning the gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He also still holds the record in the 60m dash at 6.39 seconds.
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Carter, while being an incredible sprinter in his own right, unfortunately ran in the same era as other Jamaican greats like Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt. He achieved his personal best in a 2010 race in Rieti, Italy and has racked up gold medals in the Jamaican 4x100m relay team.
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Gatlin has had a long career filled with incredible races. His fastest ever came in Ad-Dawhah, Qatar in 2015 where he ran a 9.74. He's also had a crazy career highlighted with a gold medal winning run for the USA in the 100m at the 2004 Athens Olympics. However, due to positive drug tests and doping has also been hit with a 4 year ban from international athletics.
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In 2008, Asafa Powell broke the 100m record with a 9.72 second run in Lausanne, Switzerland. while his record was short-lived, he's remained one of the best sprinters in the world for the better part of the last decade.
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Tyson Gay remains the American 100m record holder with an incredible time of 9.69 seconds in a 2009 race in Shanghai. He also ran a 9.68 at the 2008 US Olympic Trials but isn't eligible for the record due to a strong, favourable tail wind. Sadly, his only Olympic medal came via the 4x100m relay at the 2012 London Olympics, which was subsequently stripped due to members of the team failing their drug tests.
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Blake also hit a personal best of 9.69 seconds for his 100m sprint under less favourable conditions. Blake's incredible run happened at Lausanne, Switzerland, and while he may often be overshadowed by fellow countryman Usain Bolt, he still holds the record of being the youngest 100m men's champion in World Championship history.
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The current 100m world record holder and 3 time Olympic champion, Bolt clocked an insane time of 9.58 seconds at the 2009 Track and Field World Championships in Berlin. The Jamaican also holds the second fastest 100m time in history, covering the distance in 9.63s to claim gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, which was the second of his record 3 Olympic 100m gold medals.
Full list of times
- Usain Bolt (9.58s)
- Yohan Blake (9.69s)
- Tyson Gay (9.69s)
- Asafa Powell (9.72s)
- Justin Gatlin (9.74s)
- Nesta Carter (9.78s)
- Maurice Greene (9.79s)
- Steve Mullings (9.80s)
- Richard Thompson (9.82s)
- Donovan Bailey (9.84s)
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