What are Usain Bolt's records on the Olympic track? 100m, 200m...
The top male sprinters will be focused on medals in Tokyo but could any of them get close to the Jamaican legend's Olympic records? We reflect on the target times.
As we edge closer to the men's 100m and 200m sprint competition in the 2020 Tokyo Games, we already know that will see a new gold medallist crowned in both races. The man who has dominated these events over the last 15 years or so, Usain Bolt, is not among the competitors in an Olympic field for the first time since Beijing in 2008.
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Lightning Bolt: a dominant force
The Jamaican great, unarguably the greatest sprinter of all time, won gold in both events in China, London and Rio to become the only athlete in history to complete the sprint double at three consecutive Games.
While Bolt’s Olympic crown will be passed to a new holder when the sprint finals take place on Sunday 1 August, his world and Olympic records are likely to remain intact for some time.
The fastest man in history exploded into the public consciousness on the track at the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, setting world and Olympic records in the 100m and 200m at 9.69 and 19.30 respectively, with neither run wind-assisted. As such, he took Michael Johnson’s world record of 19.32 set at the 1996 Olympics and nobody, including Bolt, has ever bettered that time.
Mr Lightning would go on to smash his own 100m world record a year later at the 2009 Berlin World Championships, setting a new mark of 9.58. The Olympic record, also belonging to Bolt, stands at 9.63 and was set at the 2012 London Olympics.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: 100m and 200m sprint contenders
It will require the run of a lifetime for anyone to beat Bolt’s times at the Tokyo Games. Only two athletes among the top 10 fastest times recorded over 100m in history will line up in Tokyo. Four-time Olympic medallist Yohan Blake holds the joint second-fastest 100m of all time of 9.69, alongside Tyson Gay, but Bolt’s former relay teammate, now 31 and competing at his final Games, set that mark back in 2012 at a meet in Lausanne. Among the favourites for the title is US sprinter Trayvon Bromell, who ran a time of 9.77 in Florida last month, the fastest of the year heading into the Games. Christian Coleman, the reigning 100m world champion whose personal best stands at 9.76, is serving a ban for missed drugs tests.
Rio 2016 silver medallist Andre de Grasse (PB 9.9), France’s Jimmy Vicault, the fastest European-born sprinter of all time (PB 9.86), and South African continental record-holder Akani Simbine (PB 9.84) will all be expected to be on the start line for the 100m final.
In the 200m all eyes will be on Noah Lyles, who failed to qualify for the 100m and will aim to make up for that disappointment with victory in the longer format, in which he holds the world-leading time of 19.74.
Usain Bolt's Olympic and world 100m and 200m records
100m world: 9.58 seconds
100m Olympic: 9.63 seconds
200m world and Olympic: 19.30 seconds