OLYMPIC GAMES

What's the top speed of a 100m sprinter?

Arguably the greatest sprinter of all time, Usain Bolt has his name inscribed on a multitude of world records, but what is the quickest time in the 100m sprint?

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What's the top speed of a 100m sprinter?
ADRIAN DENNIS AFP

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt currently holds the world records for men’s 100m and 200m sprints and was part of the 4x100m world record-holding Jamaican quartet that included Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake.

Usain Bolt set the current 100m world record at the 2009 IAAF World Championships, clocking an incredible 9.58 seconds for the feat.

At the record-winning event in 2009, Bolt's average ground speed was 37.58km/h, whilst reaching a top speed of 44.72km/h in the 60-80m stretch – numbers fitting for the world’s fastest man. He first held the 100m world record in 2008 at the Reebok Grand Prix in the Icahn Stadium in New York, clocking 9.72 seconds to beat fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell’s record of 9.74 seconds set at the IAAF Grand Prix in Rieti, Italy, a year before.

Olympics race

The greatest race in the Olympics is the simplest. Eight runners, eight straight lines. A bang, an explosion of muscle and, less than ten seconds later, you have a winner. And all they do is run. No boats, bikes or horses. Athletes in the 100m perform physical feats so advanced that scientists are still trying to comprehend them.

This year's 100m Olympics sprint finals take place this weekend, with the women's final on July 31 and the men's on August 1. Trayvon Bromell is fancied to take gold in the men’s 100m, with the American posting the fastest time in the world this year at 9.77 seconds.

Women's 100m

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce heads into the 100m as favourite to add to her Beijing 2008 and London 2012 crowns. The Jamaican sprinter took home bronze at Rio 2016, but could reclaim gold given she ran 10.63 in June – becoming the second-fastest woman of all-time in the process.

Bolt retired

Usain Bolt hung up the spikes after suffering a serious hamstring injury and embarked on a short and ill advised career in soccer. He made a series of appearances for Australian club Gold Coast Mariners in 2018. After just eight weeks with the A-League outfit he left the club.