The 100 metres, or 100-metre dash, is a sprint race in track and field competitions. The shortest common outdoor running distance, it is one of the most popular and prestigious events in the sport of athletics. It has been contested at the Summer Olympics since 1896 for men and 1928 for women.
The 10-second barrier is a term used in track and field athletics, which refers to the physical and psychological barrier of completing the men’s 100 metres sprint in under ten seconds. The achievement was traditionally regarded as the hallmark of a world-class sprinter. Its significance has become less important since the late 1990s, as an increasing number of runners have surpassed the ten seconds mark.
These are the fastest runners ever on the 100 meter dash.
10. Bruny Surin – 9.84
Canadian track and field athlete Bruny Surin successfully broke the ten-second barrier in the 100 metre sprint at the 1999 World Championships in Seville, where he won the Silver Medal for completing the race in 9.84 seconds. He is also world-renowned for his performance in the 4x100m relay at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, USA.
9. Donovan Bailey – 9.84
Retired Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey achieved his World Record for the 100 metre dash when he won the Gold Medal for this event at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA where he crossed the finish line in 9.84 seconds. He was the first Canadian runner to legally break the ten-second barrier in this event.
8. Steve Mullings – 9.80
At the age of 28, Jamaican runner Steve Mullings broke the ten-second barrier for the 100 metre sprint for the first time and by the end of that year, he had broken it a total of seven times. He crossed the finish line in 9.80 seconds in Eugene, Oregon, USA on 4 June 2011, earning him his place in the top ten list of fastest 100 metre dash runners.
7. Justin Gatlin – 9.79
Olympic Gold Medalist and American athlete Justin Gatlin is currently the seventh fastest runner of the acclaimed 100 metre dash. He completed the sprint in 9.79 seconds, matching Greene’s record, at the 2012 London Olympics where he won the bronze medal and contributed to the fastest 100 metre race in history.
6. Maurice Greene – 9.79
Four-time Olympic medal winner and five-time World Champion, retired American athlete Maurice Greene specialised in both the 100 metre and the 200 metre sprints. He achieved the World Record for the fastest 100 metre dash in Athens, Greece on 16 June 1999, where he ran the race in 9.79 seconds.
5. Nesta Carter – 9.78
By completing the race in 9.78 seconds in Rieti, Italy in 2010, Jamaican sprinter Nesta Carter claims his place as the fifth fastest 100 metre dash runner. He also holds World Records in the 4x100m relay for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 London Olympics.
4. Asafa Powell – 9.72
The 100 metre dash World Record holder from June 2005 until May 2008, Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell is still the fourth fastest athlete in this event. He claimed this title by running the race in only 9.72 seconds at the Athletissima Grand Prix in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2008. As of October 2012, he has broken the ten-second barrier in the 100 metre dash 88 times, which is more than any other runner.
3. Yohan Blake – 9.69
Also known as ‘The Beast’, Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake ran the 100 metre dash in 9.69 seconds at the Athletissima Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2012, making him joint-second on the list of fastest ever 100 metre runners. He also achieved high standings at the 2012 London Olympics, where he came second to Usain Bolt in both the 100 metre and the 200 metre races. He was also part of the 4x100m relay team, winning the Gold Medal for Jamaica.
2. Tyson Gay – 9.69
Running the 100 metre sprint in only 9.69 seconds at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in September 2009, American athlete Tyson Gay is currently the second fastest runner in this event. He notably won the 100 metre and 200 metre sprint as well contributing to the 4x100m relay win for the USA at the 2007 Osaka World Championship. He was the second man to have won all three medals in a single championship, after Maurice Greene.
1. Usain Bolt – 9.58
Widely regarded as currently the fastest man on Earth, Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt attained his 100 metre World Record title at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, where he ran the race in an astonishing 9.58 seconds. The first to hold World Records in both the 100 metre sprint and the 200 metre sprint since 1977, Usain Bolt was also part of the four-man 4x100m relay team who were awarded the Gold Medal at the 2012 London Olympics.