Say what you will about the Olympic Games; sing the praises of swimmers clad in gold from top to bottom, marvel at the sheer determination of those who push their bodies to incredible limits, ooo and ahh at the sharp shooters, the divers, the rowers and fighters.
But make no mistake, the Olympics are, and will always be the runners court, and in the runners court the 100 meter sprint is THE event. The one event, the one race, the one competition that the world over cannot ignore.
No one asks: who is the fastest swimmer in the world, who can lift the most weight, who is the the fastest rower or highest diver… No, there is one thing and one thing only that the world over wants to know…
WHO IS THE FASTEST MAN IN THE WORLD
Not to belittle any of the great athletes who represent their great nations the world over, once every four years at the Olympic Games. They are heroes and phenoms in their own right, they are the best of the best, but they are not the Fastest man in the World, they are not Usain Bolt.
When Bolt set an Olympic and world record in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, clocking an unheard of 9.68 the world watched in disbelief, and with good reason, the world watched the pinnacle of human excellence, the world watch a god amongst men.
And when, a year later, Usain Bolt shattered his own world record, lowering an already unbelievable time to 9.58 at the 2009 world championships, he did what no one thought could be done… again.
So much talk, so many questions and so much speculation followed Usain Bolt into his second Olympic Games at the London 2012 Olympiad. Was he healthy, would he crack under the pressure of racing against a younger, hungrier sprinter? Many believed Yohan Blake would dethrone the fastest man in the world and to the young sprinters credit, he was the reigning word champion and had bested Bolt in the Jamaican Time Trials. But the doubters forgot one simple thing; Yohan Blake may well be younger and Yohan Blake may well have been the #1 ranked runner leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games, but Yohan Blake was not the Fastest man in the world.
In the 100 meter sprint final, 7 sprinters broke the once thought unbreakable 10 second mark, they were fast, very fast, but when the dust settled… Usain Bolt reminded the world that while his competitors were fast, incredibly fast even… for men, he reminded the world that in the realm of fleet footed, he is a God amongst men.
Bolt won and so doing defended his claim as Olympic champion. He did so by running the second fastest time in world history, the fastest time in Olympic history and he did so with ease, running 9.63
At the 40m mark these champion sprinters seemed deadlocked, it seemed like any one of these great runners could break out and pull away. But when that runner turned out to be Usain Bolt, it seemed as thought we knew it all along. Bolt pulled away from the field and in the end he won handily.
Yohan Blake (whom Bolt has said will one day be the fastest man in the world) finished in second clocking a 9.75 while American Justin Gatlin captured the Bronze with a time of 9.79
So, in case you are still wondering who the fastest man in the world is, allow us to demystify you:
USAIN BOLT – 9.63 – GOLD MEDAL – LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS
THE WORLD’S FASTEST MAN