Scientists Analyse Whether Usain Bolt’s Crazy 100-Metre Record Will Ever Be Broken

Scientists Analyse Whether Usain Bolt’s Crazy 100-Metre Record Will Ever Be Broken

Martin Moses
August 25, 2023 at 8:14 PM
  • In 2009, Usain Bolt completed the 100-metre race in a stunning time of 9.58 seconds
  • Not even the sprint legend managed to replicate such a time before retiring in 2017
  • In history, only three athletes have recorded a sprinting time of below 9.7 seconds

Usain Bolt remains the best-ever sprinter the world has ever seen.

His entries to the short races at the 2004 Athens Olympics Olympics and 2005 Helsinki Championships were marred by injuries, but he soon asserted himself and showed his mettle.

Bolt first set a new world record in the 100-metre race on May 31, 2008, at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, where he clocked 9.72 seconds, before shattering this record at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in a time of 9.69 seconds and then lowering it a year later to 9.58 seconds at the Berlin Championships.

Usain Bolt, Ferdinand Omanyala, Fred Kerley Florence-Griffith Joyner, Uwe Hohn, athletics records that may never be broken
Usain Bolt celebrates after obliterating the 100-metre World Record in 2009. Photo by Andy Lyons.
Source: Getty Images

To date, no one has come close to running a time of 9.5 seconds, not even Bolt himself.

This begs the question, was the run in Germany a fluke? Was it a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence? Will anyone ever break that record?

Apart from Bolt, Tyson Gay and Yohan Blake are the only other athletes to have run a 100-metre race in under 9.7 seconds, as captured by World Athletics Website.

Since Bolt's retirement, the likes of Fred Kerley, Cristian Coleman, Trayvon Bromell, and Ferdinand Omanyala have emerged, but a sub-9.7 race seems like a tall order.

Will Bolt's record be broken?

The Sport Biomechanics at the University of Bath conducted a study to determine if any current athlete could ever be faster than Bolt.

Scientists, Polly McGuigan and Aki Salo believe a combination of genetics and training will one day see someone record a run of under 9 seconds.

"A muscle with a high proportion of large, fast-twitch muscle fibres will be able to generate larger amounts of force more quickly than a muscle with a lower proportion. It's safe to say that someone will break the nine-second barrier - not necessarily in our lifetime, but it will happen one day," they said, as quoted by Give Me Sport.

However, they issued a disclaimer that current times might remain stagnant, which means Bolt's record might become harder to break.

Since no one besides the sprint legend has ever run below 9.6 seconds, smashing that record would take something extraordinary.

This year's best time is 9.84 seconds, set by Commonwealth Champion and Africa's fastest man, Omanyala at last month's Kip Keino classic.

Kipchoge admits record under threat

Sports Brief has also reported on Eliud Kipchoge admitting his records are threatened by Kelvin Kiptum and he could possibly become the first man to run a marathon in under two hours.

Kipchoge's Kenyan compatriot took the world by surprise in April by shattering the course record at the London Marathon, setting the second-fastest time in history in his second-ever event.

The current record-holder remains the most decorated marathoner in history across multiple races, with Kiptum just 18 seconds away from eclipsing the Kenyan legend's record in London.

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Martin Moses
Editor- EPL I Serie A
Ferdinand OmanyalaWorld