Running has been an integral part of human evolution and is a popular form of physical exercise. From marathons to sprints, runners have been competing against each other for centuries, and the desire to be the fastest has always been at the forefront of their minds. The human body evolved as an efficient running machine, and the fastest runners have a unique combination of physical and mental characteristics that enable them to reach incredible speeds. This article will explore the world’s fastest runners and their records.
No surprises here! The current 100m world record holder and 3-time Olympic champion in 100m clocked a stunning 9.58s at the Track and Field World Championships in Berlin in 2009. This performance was the third time that Bolt broke the 100 m world record in the course of a year and a half. In 2008–2009, Bolt won five Olympic and World Championship gold medals. The Jamaican also has the second fastest 100 m time in history, clocking 9.63 s to win the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, the second of his record 3 Olympic 100 m gold medals.
Tyson Gay is one of the most famous American sprinters and the fastest non-Jamaican sprinter in the world. He was born in 1982 in Lexington, Kentucky, and followed in his grandmother’s and mother’s footsteps to become a professional runner. In 2009, Tyson ran the 100 meters in 9.69 minutes at a competition in China. Therefore, his top running speed is similar to that of Jamaican athlete Yohan Blake, making him the second fastest man in the world. The only reason I put Tyson Gay behind Blake is because his sprint was wind-assisted.
However, he has some great achievements in the sport of sprinting. He was the first athlete to run 400 meters in less than 45 minutes, 200 meters in 20 seconds and 100 meters in 10 seconds. Another thing worth mentioning about Tyson Gay is that he won his first major championship (200m gold) at the IAAF World Athletics in 2005. Furthermore, he won another gold medal in the same competition the following year. In 2006, he won gold medals in the 4 x 100 m relay and 100 m at the IAAF Continental Cup. However, his biggest success was in 2007 when he earned 3 gold medals at the World Championships.
Justin Gatlin broke Usain Bolt’s 100m record, but it didn’t count as he was assisted by a large wind generator. In an unimaginable 9.45 seconds, the American narrowly beat Bolt’s 2009 record of 9.58 seconds. At the first Diamond League of 2015 in Dubai, the controversial American challenged to break Jamaica’s monopoly in the 100m sprint.
He did so 12 months earlier to beat his private finest by 0.03 seconds from Brussels. Gatlin was the quickest man on the planet till his doping ban ended 4 years of his profession for testing optimistic.
Before Usain Bolt became the world’s fastest sprinter, the title was held by Jamaican-born Asafa Powell. It would not be a surprise to see him on the list as he is a four-time world champion with a gold medal in 100m and many other medals.
For three years between 2005 and 2008, Powell held the world record for the fastest 100 meters at 9.77 seconds. However, he has lagged behind this world record. He set his personal best record by running 100 meters in 9.72 seconds in a competition held in Switzerland in September 2008.
Like Tyson Gay, Blake also holds a personal best time of 9.69 s in the 100 m. However, Blake was ranked second on the list because his performance of 9.69 s was achieved in less favorable wind conditions than Gay’s. Blake’s impressive performance came in 2012 at a competition held in Lausanne, Switzerland. Although Blake can sometimes be overshadowed by his Jamaican countryman Usain Bolt, Blake has the distinction of being the youngest 100 m men’s champion in world championship history, something Bolt will never be able to top.
Richard Thompson is a sprinter from Trinidad and Tobago who is best known for his incredible 100m sprint. He holds a record of just 9.82 seconds in the 100 meters race, which places him at the 10th place in the list of fastest runners in the world. Richard Thompson recorded this amazing record in 2014.
Despite never competing in the Olympic Games or winning any medals in his entire career, Steve Mullings currently holds the title of being the 7th fastest sprinter in the world. This feat has been achieved five times, including at the 2011 Oregon Speed Race, where he became the first runner to break the 10-second barrier. Unfortunately, his career came to an abrupt end when he was caught in a doping scandal and banned from the sport for life.
During the early years of his career, Green was the fastest sprinter in the world on five occasions, won five Olympic medals and set the 100 m world record at 9.79. He is now the world record holder in 60m. His cup remained full till 1999.
During his career, he not only won Seville World Champion Gold but also broke Donovan’s record. He defended his position for six years, his record was later broken by Asafa Powell in 2005. His career ended when he tested positive in a drug test. He was ejected from the game and never returned.
Carter places himself firmly in the middle of this list, but surprisingly he is the fourth fastest Jamaican sprinter of all time. Carter’s personal best time in the 100 m came in 2010 at a race in Rieti, Italy. He has both the misfortune and fortune of running in the same era as famous Jamaican sprinters such as Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and of course Usain Bolt. Unfortunately, Carter only has 1 individual World Championship or Olympic medal (a bronze from the 2013 World Championships) to his name. Fortunately, he has won gold medals with the Jamaican 4x100m relay team. However, Carter’s name has been in the news recently for a positive drug test.
Another great American professional sprinter, Christian Coleman competes in the 100m and 200m. 100m world champion since February 2022. He also holds the record for 100 meters race of 9.76 seconds. Christian Coleman was a double medalist at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics.