5 Fastest Male Sprinters Since Usain Bolt’s Retirement in 2017

5 Fastest Male Sprinters Since Usain Bolt’s Retirement in 2017

Edwin Kiplagat
May 16, 2024 at 8:38 AM
  • Usain Bolt's 100m world record is still a subject of discussion in sports
  • The Jamaican's 9.58 world record, set in 2009, is still standing strong
  • Many sprinters have come and gone without getting close to the record

It has been seven years since the great Usain Bolt retired from sprinting.

By the time he retired, the lightning-fast Jamaican had set incredible world records and won eight Olympic gold medals.

Several sprinters have vowed to break his 100m and 200m records, but none have come close.

Usain Bolt's 100m world record, Bolt's 9.58, Ferdinand Omanyala, Noah Lyles, Kenya, Olympics, Christian Coleman, Fred Kerley, Marcell Jacobs, Letsile Tebogo, Zharnel Hughes
Usain Bolt inspired many sprinters, like Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala. Photos by Ian MacNicol and Al Bello.
Source: Getty Images

The sprinting world was dominated by the Americans, who have won over half of the gold medals in Olympic history.

When Bolt burst onto the scene in the mid-2000s, there was a sense that things were about to change. Justin Gatlin's gold medal in the 100m at the 2004 Olympics was the last time a US athlete won gold in the distance.

The Jamaican shattered the world record for the first time in May 2008 (9.72 seconds) and then broke it again at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning gold in 9.69 seconds, per World Athletics.

In 2009, at the World Athletics Championships, Bolt etched his name in the annals of history with two world records that still stand today.

He won the 100m in an astounding 9.58 seconds and then took gold in the 200m in 19.19 seconds, though he felt he could've gone faster. He won gold in three straight Olympic Games in both distances.

Since his retirement in 2017, Bolt has always been mentioned as one of the greatest athletes in history.

So, which athletes have taken over since Bolt's departure? Here are the five fastest sprinters chasing Bolt's almost invincible record.

5 fastest sprinters since Bolt's retirement

5. Akani Simbine - 9.84 seconds

The South African sprinter is one of Africa's greatest. He participated in the 2016 and 2021 Olympics and finished fourth and fifth, respectively. His 9.84 personal best was set in Hungary in 2021. Can he finally win an Olympic medal?

4. Bingtian Su, Ronnie Baker, Zharnel Hughes, Noah Lyles - 9.83 seconds

Su and Baker ran 100m in 9.83 seconds at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Both sprinters finished in the top six in the final.

Hughes clocked 9.83 seconds to set a new British record in New York in June 2023. He broke Linford Christie's 30-year-old record. He later took bronze in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest and will be a contender for the gold medal in Paris.

Lyles is probably the most popular track and field athlete right now. The outspoken American had a phenomenal 2023. He won the world titles in 100m and 200m, then anchored Team USA to gold in the men's 4x100m relay. He took the 100m world title in 9.83 seconds.

3. Marcell Jacobs - 9.80 seconds

The Italian is the reigning Olympic champion. He set his personal best of 9.80 seconds at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, he has struggled to recapture that success, mainly due to recurring injury issues. Nevertheless, he is healthy and will compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Can he defend his precious title?

He will face a tough field, which includes Noah Lyles, Fred Kerley, Christian Coleman, and Letsile Tebogo.

2. Ferdinand Omanyala - 9.77 seconds

The Kenyan bounced back after the 2020 Olympics disappointment. He became the Commonwealth champion and Africa's fastest man. He clocked 9.77 seconds in 2021 but has struggled to perform at the biggest stage, notably the World Athletics Championships.

With competition getting stiffer, the 28-year-old Kenyan will have to step up and become the first African to win a medal at the Olympics in the 100m.

1. Christian Coleman, Fred Kerley, Trayvon Bromell - 9.76 seconds

These three American stars have a personal best of 9.76 seconds in the 100m. Coleman and Kerley have won the world title. Coleman clocked 9.76 seconds to win the gold at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. Earlier this year, he won the 60m world title in Glasgow. The 28-year-old is yet to win an Olympic medal.

Meanwhile, Kerley is an Olympic silver medalist and 2022 world champion. Jacobs narrowly defeated him in Tokyo, meaning he has something to prove in Paris.

Bromell set his personal best in Kenya in 2021; in the same race, Onamyala clocked 9.77. He's been battling injuries in the last year, and it is unclear if he will compete at the Olympics.

Powell on Bolt's records

Sports Brief earlier reported on former world record holder, Asafa Powell, stressing that Bolt's 100m world record will not be broken for a long time.

Since setting that record (9.58 seconds), no one has come close to it apart from the Jamaican's own 9.63-second gold finish at the 2012 Olympics.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.