Top 15 Fastest Runners in the World
For almost a decade, Usain Bolt has been ruling the world of athletics. According to research, the average running speed of humans is about 19mph, while men can level up to 27mph. But as the sport advances with each passing day, we have seen several male sprinters trying their best to break existing records set by some of the world’s fastest runners to claim titles.
Fabulaes has complied a list of Top 15 Fastest Runners in the World. Here are the Fastest Runners in the World for all times!
15. Tommie Smith
100m Record: 19.83 Seconds
The former American track and field athlete is famous for his Black Power salute on the podium after he won gold in the 200-metre sprint at the 1968 Olympics. The runner completed the race in 19.83 seconds.
Tommie C. Smith was born on June 6, 1944. He is an American former track & field athlete and former wide receiver in the American Football League. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, Smith, aged 24, won the 200-meter sprint finals and gold medal in 19.83 seconds – the first time the 20-second barrier was broken legally. His Black Power salute with John Carlos atop the medal podium to protest racism and injustice against African-Americans in the United States caused controversy, as it was seen as politicizing the Olympic Games. It remains a symbolic moment in the history of the Black Power movement.
Although the gesture caused controversy at the time by politicizing the Olympics, it was a hugely symbolic moment for the American Civil Rights Movement. The runner completed the race in 19.83 seconds, which was the first time the 20-second barrier was broken legally. He set seven individual world records during his career.
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14. Florence Griffith-Joyner
100m Record: 10.49 Seconds
The female athlete is considered to be the fastest woman of all time, holding both the world records for the 100 meters at 10.49 seconds and 200 meters at 21.34 seconds since 1988.
Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner was born as Florence Delorez Griffith on December 21, 1959. She is also known as Flo-Jo. She was an American track and field athlete.
She is considered the fastest woman of all time based on the fact that the world records she set in 1988 for both the 100 m and 200 m still stand. During the late 1980s she became a popular figure in international track and field because of her record-setting performances and flashy personal style. At the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials, Griffith set a new world record in the 100 meter sprint. She went on to win three gold medals at the 1988 Olympics. The runner, dubbed Flo-Jo, won two silver Olympic medals and three gold medals but her career was marred by doping accusations, which are still officially unproven.
On September 21, 1998, Griffith-Joyner died in her sleep at home in the Canyon Crest neighborhood of Mission Viejo, California, at the age of 38. The unexpected death was investigated by the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner’s office, which announced on September 22 that the cause of death was suffocation during a severe epileptic seizure.
13. Jesse Owens
100m Record: 10.3 Seconds
The runner is arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time and won four gold medals in the Berlin Olympics which were opened by Hitler in 1936. The sprinter ran the 100 metres in 10.3 seconds.
James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens was born ob September 12, 1913. He was an American track and field athlete and four-time gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic Games.
Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump, and was recognized in his lifetime as “perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history”. He set three world records and tied another, all in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan — a feat that has never been equaled and has been called “the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport”. The sprinter ran the 100 meters in 10.3 seconds and the 200 meters in 20.7 seconds even through the athletes had to run on dirt tracks at the old-fashioned stadium.
Beginning in December 1979, he was hospitalized on and off with an extremely aggressive and drug-resistant type of lung cancer. He died of the disease at age 66 in Tucson, Arizona, on March 31, 1980. The Jesse Owens Award is USA Track and Field’s highest accolade for the year’s best track and field athlete. Owens was ranked by ESPN as the sixth greatest North American athlete of the 20th century and the highest-ranked in his sport. In 1999, he was on the six-man short-list for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Century.
12. Carl Lewis
100m Record: 9.9 Seconds
Lewis is an American former track and field athlete who managed to set world records and top world rankings for the 100 metres, 200 metres, long jump and the 4 x 100 metres relay.
Frederick Carlton “Carl” Lewis was born on July 1, 1961. He is an American former track and field athlete who won nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal, and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold. His career spanned from 1979 to 1996, when he last won an Olympic event. He is one of only three Olympic athletes who won a gold medal in the same individual event in four consecutive Olympic Games.
He won nine gold Olympic medals and was named ‘World Athlete of the Century’, ‘Sportsman of the Century’, and ‘Olympian of the Century’ by various sports federations.
Lewis started his quest to match Owens with a convincing win in the 100 m, running 9.99 s to defeat his nearest competitor, fellow American Sam Graddy, by 0.2 s. When Ben Johnson defeated him in 1988 Seoul Games, everyone was so surprised that they rightly suspected that Johnson had taken performance enhancing drugs.
11. Donovan Bailey
100m Record: 9.84 Seconds
Bailey once held the world 100-metre record for his gold medal performance at 9.84 seconds during the 1996 Olympic Games. He was the World’s fastest man in May, 1997.
Donovan Bailey was born on December 16, 1967. He is a retired Jamaican-Canadian sprinter, who once held the world record for the 100 metres. He recorded a time of 9.84 seconds to win the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. He was the first Canadian to legally break the 10-second barrier in the 100 m. Particularly noted for his top speed, Bailey ran 27.07 mph (12.10 m/s) in his 1996 Olympic title run, the fastest ever recorded by a human at the time. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 as an individual athlete and in 2008 as part of the 1996 Summer Olympics 4×100 relay team. In 2005, he was also inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.
In total, he won two gold medals at the Olympic Games and he managed to beat Michael Johnson in the famous 150-metre race in 1997.
10. Richard Thompson
100m Record: 9.82 Seconds
Popularly known as Torpedo, Richard Thompson is a sprinter who specializes in 100 meters. Richard “Torpedo” Thompson was born on 7th of June 1985. Thompson studied at Louisiana State University (LSU) and broke the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) indoor 60 metres record in 2008, his final season of collegiate athletics. He is a sprinter from Cascade, Trinidad and Tobago who specializes in the 100 metres. He is the 9th best 100 meters runner of all time and the Trinidad and Tobago record holder with a personal best of 9.82.
He occasionally runs the 200 meters and he has the fourth fastest time ever run by a Trinidad and Tobago athlete. He came into limelight in 2008 when he came second behind Usain Bolt to be awarded a bronze at the Olympics in Beijing. Later in 2014, he couldn’t keep the pace again as he was not running fast. A prove was when he was the eighth fastest runner at Port in 2014. In Olympics 2016 held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he was on 6th number.
9. Steve Mullings
100m Record: 9.80 Seconds
Though Mullings has never in his career competed for any Olympic Games and has never won a medal, he is currently the 9th fastest runner in the world right now.
Steve Mullings was born on 28 November, 1982. He is a Jamaican former sprint athlete who specialized in the 100 and 200 metres events. He has done this for five times and a quick run in Oregon, all in 2011. In Oregon, he was the first runner to break the 10 seconds barrier. Mullings began his international athletics career with a bronze medal win in the 100 m at the Pan American Junior Championships. At the 2004 national championship he made his first impact in senior athletics, setting new bests of 10.04 and 20.22 in the sprints, and finishing as the 200 m national champion. In 2011, he broke the 10 second barrier for the first time at age 28, and by the end of the year had run under 10 seconds seven times
However, on 11 August 2011, it was reported that Mullings had tested positive for the drug Furosemide, a masking agent. The positive test was recorded at the Jamaican national trials in June where he finished third in the men’s 100-metre final. On 22 November the Jamaican Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel handed him a lifetime ban from athletics. They voted unanimously on the decision.
8. Maurice Greene
100m Record: 9.79 Seconds
During the early years of his career, Greene was the fastest runner on five occasions, winning five Olympic medals and holding the 100 meters world record at 9.79. He is now the world record holder of 60 metres.
Maurice Greene was born on July 23, 1974. He is an American former track and field sprinter who specialized in the 100 meters and 200 meters. He is a former 100 m world record holder with a time of 9.79 seconds. During the height of his career (1997–2004) he won four Olympic medals and was a five-time World Champion. This included three golds at the 1999 World Championships, a feat which had previously only been achieved by Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson and has since been equaled by three others.
He had a full of his cup until 1999. During his career, he did not only win the Seville World Champion Gold but also broke Donovan’s record. He defended his positions for six years before Asafa Powell later broke his record in 2005. His career saw an end when he was tested positive in a drug test. He was dropped from the sport and never to return. His career was affected by a number of injuries from 2001 on wards, although he won the 100 meters bronze and silver in the sprint relay at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
7. Nesta Carter
100m Record: 9.78 Seconds
Nestar is one of the American runners the world of athletics is proud of. He ranks as the seventh fastest runner in the world right now.
Nesta Carter OD was born on October 11, 1985. He is a Jamaican sprinter who specializes in the 100 metres event. Carter has been successful as part of the Jamaican 4 x 100 metres relay team, taking gold and setting successive world records at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 London Olympics. His best personal record was initially 9.91. Later in Rieti in Italy, Nesta Carter beat his personal record when he completed a 100m sprint in 9.78 seconds. Carter also happened to be a part of the team that broke the 9.8 seconds record. However, he was outranked in the 100 metres categories. In his career, 2006 was the best year for the American-born runner when he had his first ever best performance. The current status of Carter is sad as he is battling with steroid case, costing him a lot.
Carter failed an anti-doping test for the banned stimulant methylhexanamine when traces of the drug were found in Carter’s A and B samples. This happened when 454 frozen blood and urine samples from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing were retested by the International Olympic Committee.
6. Christian Coleman
100m Record: 9.76 Seconds
Christian Coleman is one of the famous 100 metres and 200 metres competitors the world of athletics is endowed with. When it comes to 100-metre dash, Coleman is a world champion.
Christian Coleman was born on March 6, 1996. He is an American professional track and field sprinter who competes in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash. He is the current world champion in the 100 meters. He was a double medalist at the World Championships in Athletics in 2017, winning silver medals in both the 100 m and 4 × 100-meter relay. Coleman represented the United States in the relay at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
In 2019, at the age of 23, he added to his shelf a 100 metres gold medal, which was earned when he completed a 100-metre sprint in 9.76 seconds. Many people believed he was not capable of winning the medal on an unbiased ground if there were drug tests against the competition. In February 2020, Coleman decided to compete at the U.S. Indoor Championships in Albuquerque on the 14th and 15th with the intent of breaking his world record in the 60 m. On the first day, he won his heat in a world-leading time of 6.48 s while slowing down before the finish line.
5. Justin Gatlin
100m Record: 9.74 Seconds
Justin would have been the world’s first fastest runner when he completed a 100m sprint in 9.45 seconds to break Usain Bolt’s record . But he was denied the title because he was believed to have been assisted by huge wind turbines.
Justin Gatlin was born on February 10, 1982. He is an American sprinter who specializes in the 100 and 200 metres events. He is the 2017 100m World Champion. He is the 2004 Olympic champion in the 100 metres, the 2005 and 2017 World champion in the same event, and the 2005 World champion in the 200 metres.
In 2014, Gatlin laid another personal best record to complete a 100m dash in 9.74 seconds. In 2001, Gatlin was suspended from international sports when he was tested positive for amphetamine. This was a great setback for him as this caused him a pause in his career. Coming back in 2006, he was again sent back on suspension for doping that same year. He had his way back to the international sports four years later when he came to surprise the world with his fantastic performance to win the 2012 WIC in 60 metres. And also in 2012, Gatlin bagged a bronze in the summer Olympics.
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4. Asafa Powell
100m Record: 9.72 Seconds
Before Usain Bolt came forward to hijack the title of the fastest runner in the world.. Seeing him on the list, one is not surprised going by the fact that he has won four world champions 100 metres gold medal and several other medals.
Asafa Powell, CD was born on 23 November 1982. He is a Jamaican sprinter who specialists in the 100 metres. He set the 100 metres world record twice, between June 2005 and May 2008 with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds. Powell has consistently broken the 10-second barrier in competition
For 3 years, between 2005 to 2008, Powell held the world record as the fastest runner to complete the 100m sprint in 9.77 seconds. He has, however, been defeated on this world record. He set his personal best record in September 2008 when he completed the 100m dash in 9.72 seconds, in an event which took place in Switzerland. On 5 August 2012, Asafa Powell ran in the final of the 100 m race at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom.
On 14 July 2013, Powell admitted that he had tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine. Powell voluntarily withdrew from the 2013 World Athletics Championships as a result of the test.
3. Yohan Blake
100m Record: 9.69 Seconds (tie)
Nicknamed “The Beast”, Yohan Blake is one of the famous runners to not miss out on every list of fastest runners. In fact, he is arguably believed to occupy the second position of the list of fastest runners in the world as he was able to complete a 100-meter sprint in 9.69 seconds – the same run time with Tyson Gay.
Yohan Blake was born on 26 December 1989. He is a Jamaican sprinter of the 100-metre and 200-metre sprint races. He won gold at the 100 m at the 2011 World Championships as the youngest 100 m world champion ever, and a silver medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 100 m and 200 m races for the Jamaican team. He is coached by Glen Mills and his training partners are Usain Bolt and Daniel Bailey.
In his career, he set his best run time for 100 meters as 9.69 seconds. The event, which took place in Switzerland was where he became the second quickest runner ever. At the age of 19, he was the youngest man to finish the race under 10 seconds. Blake qualified for the 2019 world championship in Doha for the 100 and 200 metres. He managed to place 5th in the 100m final with a time of 9.97, but was unable to make it past his 200m semi final, placing 6th with a time of 20.37.
2. Tyson Gay
100m Record: 9.69 Seconds (tie)
The American-born Tyson Gay comes takes the second position in our ranking of the fastest runners in the world right now. He became the world’s second-fastest sprinter when he completed a 200-meter race in 19.58 seconds.
yson Gay was born on August 9, 1982. He is an American track and field sprinter who competes in the 100 and 200 meters dash. His 100 m personal best of 9.69 seconds is the American record and makes him tied for the second fastest athlete ever, along with Yohan Blake. His 200 m time of 19.58 makes him the seventh fastest athlete in that event.
He has also managed to complete a 100m race in 9.69 seconds, which was a plus to his reputation. History will never forget his wonderful victory to become the first runner to ever complete the 100m in 10 seconds, the 200m in 20 seconds and the 400m under 45 seconds. Gay has won numerous medals in major international competitions, including a gold medal sweep of the 100 m, 200 m and 4 × 100 m relay at the 2007 Osaka World Championships. Unfortunately, he disqualified in 2016 Olympics held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
1. Usain Bolt
100m Record: 9.58 Seconds
Usain Bolt currently ranks as the fastest runner in the world right now with a record 9.58 seconds in the 100-meter sprint. In the world of athletics, the Jamaican runner is simply a legend.
Usain St Leo Bolt,was born on 21 August 1986. He is a Jamaican former sprinter. He is a world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay. Owing to his achievements and dominance in sprint competition, he is widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time.
This is backed up with several medals which he has won throughout his career as a runner. No sprinter has been able to break the fastest sprint record which Bolt has set. He was fully known by all lovers of athletics in the Berlin 2009 World Championships where he won a 100-meter sprint in a world record 9.58 seconds and a 200 meters dash in 19.19 seconds. Bolt was also a member of the team that won the 4×100 in London, which they completed in 36.84 seconds.
He is an eight-time Olympic gold medalist, Bolt is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016). In addition he won two 4 × 100 relay gold medals. He gained worldwide fame for his double sprint victory in world record times at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which made him the first person to hold both records since fully automatic time became mandatory.
At the start of 2015, he intended to make the 2017 World Championships in Athletics his last major competition before retirement. At the 2017 World Athletics Championships, Bolt won his heat uncomfortably after a slow start in 10.07, in his semi-final he improved to 9.98 but was beaten by Christian Coleman by 0.01.