Usain Bolt and fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake start their quest for gold in the 100-meter dash with preliminary rounds Saturday, Aug. 4. The finals are the following day. Bolt already holds the world record and Olympic record in the event.
How fast will he run in London?
Compare times of 10 of the fastest runs in men's Olympic history.:
1) Usain Bolt, 9.69 seconds, Beijing 2008: Bolt is in London defending his title, but also his Olympic record. The world was introduced to the young Jamaican phenom four years ago when he blitzed the field in what was then also a world record of 9.69 seconds in the finals.
2) Donovan Bailey, 9.84 seconds, Atlanta 1996: Canadian Donovan Bailey took the gold in Atlanta with a then-Olympic record of 9.84 seconds. The mark would stand 12 years until Bolt took in China. The mark was Bailey's best run of his career by .07 seconds.
3) Usain Bolt, 9.85 seconds, Beijing 2008: Bolt just missed tying the Olympic mark in the first semifinals in Beijing before shaving of another .16 seconds for the final. Bolt put on an amazing display for fans living up to his surname twice in one day.
4) Justin Gatlin, 9.85 seconds, Athens 2004: Before Bolt took over sprints, Justin Gatlin of the United States won gold in Athens by nearly tying the Olympic record. Gatlin is the fastest current American runner, as he had a time of 9.80 seconds at the Olympic trials earlier this year.
5) Francis Obikwelu, 9.86 seconds, Athens 2004: The man who came in second to Gatlin in 2004 did so by .01 seconds in one of the closest finishes in Olympic history. Francis Obikwelu of Portugal took the silver in Athens.
6) Maurice Greene, 9.87 seconds, Sydney 2000: American Maurice Greene took gold in Sydney with a time of 9.87 seconds. Greene was part of the next generation of American runners after the Carl Lewis era.
7) Maurice Greene, 9.87 seconds, Athens 2004: Greene must love running 100 meters in 9.87 seconds in Olympic finals. He had the exact same time four years after Sydney, only this time it was good enough for a bronze medal.
8) Shawn Crawford, 9.89 seconds, Athens 2004: American Shawn Crawford ran a very fast 9.89 seconds in a qualifying heat in Athens. He ran a similar time a day later in the finals.
9) Shawn Crawford, 9.89 seconds, Athens 2004: Crawford came in fourth place overall in one of the closests 100-meter dashes in Olympic history. The American missed a gold medal by a mere .04 seconds as the top four were very close at the finish. Like Greene, Crawford is a consistent runner at the highest level.
10) Frank Fredericks, 9.89 seconds, Atlanta 1996: Namibian Frank Fredericks earned the silver medal in Atlanta with his third-fastest time of his career. Bailey was faster and got the gold, glory and the Olympic record in the same race.
Source: List of top 100-metre races, all time, IAAF.org
William Browning has been a fan of the Summer Olympics since the games of 1984 in Los Angeles.
- Athletics, Track & Field
- Sports & Recreation
- Justin Gatlin
- Maurice Greene
- Shawn Crawford
- Donovan Bailey