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Black Sprinters: Top 10 Fastest Athletes in the World

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The fastest athletes in the world have produced speeds that the average man will struggle to replicate. It takes years of practice to get everything right and compete at the highest level. These athletes have dazzled the world in major sporting events like the Olympics. Who are the fastest athletes in the world?

  • Usain Bolt
  • Tyson Gay
  • Yohan Blake
  • Asafa Powell
  • Justin Gatlin
  • Christian Coleman
  • Nesta Carter
  • Maurice Green
  • Steve Mulling
  • Richard Thompson

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1. Usain Bolt – 9.58 seconds

spotcovery-usain-bolt-fastest-athlete-in-the-world
Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world. Image source: Usain Bolt licensed CC BY 2.0
  • Full name: Usain St. Leo Bolt OJ CD OLY
  • Nickname: Lightning Bolt
  • Birthplace: Sherwood Content, Jamaica
  • Born: 21 August 1986
  • Age: 37 years
  • Nationality: Jamaican
  • Status: Retired
  • Weight: 94 kg
  • Height: 195 cm
  • Event(s): 100 metres, 200 metres, 4x100m
  • Personal best: 9.58 seconds 

Usain Bolt retired in 2017 but his time of 9.58 recorded at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in 2009 remains unbeaten. This means that he’s the fastest athlete in the world. When the Jamaican achieved this feat, he broke the record of 9.69 seconds he made at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The sprinter ran in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

2. Tyson Gay – 9.69 seconds

Former American runner Tyson Gay. Image Source: Facebook licensed CC BY 2.0
  • Full name: Tyson Gay
  • Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky
  • Born: 9 August 1982
  • Age: 41 years
  • Nationality: American
  • Status: Retired
  • Weight: 75 kg
  • Height: 1.80m
  • Event(s): 100 metres, 200 metres, 4x100m
  • Personal best: 9.69 seconds 

Tyson Gay set the second-fastest time of 9.69 seconds during the 100m in Shanghai China in 2009. This makes him the second-fastest athlete in the world. He competed in the 100m, 200m and 4X100m relay and won them all, a feat accomplished by only one man when he did it. Tyson retired from the sport in 2017.

3. Yohan Blake – 9.69 seconds

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake. Image Source: Yohan Blake licensed CC BY 2.0
  • Full name: Yohan Blake
  • Nickname: The Beast
  • Birthplace: St. James Parish, Jamaica
  • Born: 26 December 1989
  • Age: 34 years
  • Nationality: Jamaican
  • Status: Active
  • Weight: 80 kg
  • Height: 1.8m
  • Event(s): 100 metres, 200 metres
  • Personal best: 9.69 seconds

Yohan Black has been in the shadows of his Jamaican counterpart Usain Bolt but he still managed to achieve some impressive feats. He completed his 100m sprint in Lausanne Switzerland in a time of 9.69 seconds and became the third-fastest athlete in the world. Some of his accolades include winning the 4×100 m relay at the Olympic games in 2012 and 2016.

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4. Asafa Powell – 9.72 seconds

Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell. Image Source: Instagram licensed CC BY 2.0
  • Full name: Asafa Powell, CD
  • Birthplace: Linstead Jamaica
  • Born: 23 November 1982
  • Age: 41 years
  • Nationality: Jamaican
  • Status: Retired
  • Weight: 87 kg
  • Height: 1.91m
  • Event(s): 100 metres, 200 metres
  • Personal best: 9.72 seconds 

Asafa Powell set the 100m world record in 2005 (9.77 seconds) and 2008 (9.75 seconds) but these no longer stand because Usain Bolt happened. That said, the Jamaican is amongst the fastest athletes in the world having run a time of 9.72 seconds in the 100m race in Lausanne Switzerland in 2008. 

5. Justin Gatlin – 9.74 seconds

  • Full name: Justin Alexander Gatlin
  • Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • Born: 10 February 1982
  • Age: 41 years
  • Nationality: American
  • Status: Retired
  • Weight: 80 kg
  • Height: 1.85m
  • Event(s): 100 metres, 200 metres
  • Personal best: 9.74 seconds 

Justin Gatlin’s career has been marred by doping scandals but despite that, his fastest times are legitimate. He’s one of the fastest athletes in the world having clocked 9.74 seconds at the 100m race in Doha Qatar in 2015. He’s a one-time Olympic Champion, 4 time World Champion, two-time Olympic Silver medalist and a two-time Diamond League final winner.

6. Christian Coleman – 9.76 seconds

  • Full name: Christian Coleman
  • Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Born: 6 March 1996
  • Age: 27 years
  • Nationality: American
  • Status: Active
  • Weight: 72 kg
  • Height: 1.75m
  • Event(s): 100 metres, 200 metres
  • Personal best: 9.76 seconds

Christian Coleman is the sixth fastest athlete in the world having run a time of 9.76 seconds. He did this in 2019 during the World Championships in Doha, Qatar. He ranks 82nd in the world. He’s won two world championships, one Diamond League and the World Championship Silver medal.

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7. Nesta Carter – 9.78 seconds

  • Full name: Nesta Carter, OD
  • Birthplace: Manchester Parish, Jamaica
  • Born: 11 October 1985
  • Age: 38 years
  • Nationality: Jamaican
  • Status: Retired
  • Weight: 78  kg
  • Height: 1.73m
  • Event(s): 100 metres, 200 metres
  • Personal best:  9.78 seconds

Nesta Carter is an Olympic Champion and a three-time World Champion. His time of 9.78 seconds is one of the fastest in the world. He achieved this in Reiti, Italy in 2010. His time is one of the fastest in Jamaican history.

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8. Maurice Green – 9.79 seconds

  • Full name: Maurice Greene
  • Birthplace: Kansas City
  • Born: 23 July 1974
  • Age: 49  years
  • Nationality: American
  • Status: Retired
  • Weight: 82  kg
  • Height: 1.76m
  • Event(s): 60 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres
  • Personal best: 9.79 seconds

Maurice Greene is a two-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion and has won the indoor world championship once. His fastest time of 9.79 seconds makes him one of the fastest athletes in the world. In 1999, this was a world record and he had lowered his previous (9.84 seconds) by 0.05 seconds.

9. Steve Mullings – 9.80 seconds

  • Full name: Steve Mullings 
  • Birthplace: St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica
  • Born: 28 November 1982
  • Age: 41years
  • Nationality: Jamaican
  • Status: Retired
  • Weight: 67 kg
  • Height: 1.76m
  • Event(s): 60 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres
  • Personal best: 9.80 seconds

Steve Mullings is the ninth fastest athlete in the world. In 2011, he ran 9.80 seconds at the Diamond League in Oregon. Mullings’ career was disrupted by a lifetime doping ban after his second doping violation. He’s a one-time World Champion.

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10. Richard Thompson – 9.82 seconds

  • Full name: Richard Thompson
  • Birthplace: Cascade, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Born: 7 June 1985
  • Age: 38 years
  • Nationality: Trinidad and Tobago
  • Status: Retired
  • Weight: 80 kg
  • Height: 1.88m
  • Event(s): 60 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres
  • Personal best: 9.82 seconds

Richard Thompson is the tenth fastest athlete in the world. He’s a one-time Olympic Champion and a two-time Olympic Silver medallist. In 2014, he ran 9.82 seconds which remains to be one of the fastest times in history. He is a five-time Trinidad & Tobago national champion.

Some of the athletes have retired yet their times remain to be some of the fastest in the world. Who will ever lower Usain Bolt’s record of 9.58 seconds?  

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Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi is a sports enthusiast who enjoys sharing sports knowledge. Over the years, she has also written on different niches, and she now brings that experience at Spotcovery. She writes sports content and also, Arts & Culture, Recipe, Beauty and more.

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