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100 metres

Sprint race

Top 10 100 metres related articles

Athletics
100 metres
Start of the men's 100 metres final at the
2012 Olympic Games.
World records
Men Usain Bolt 9.58 (2009)
Women Florence Griffith Joyner 10.49[a] (1988)
Olympic records
Men Usain Bolt 9.63 (2012)
Women Florence Griffith Joyner 10.62 (1988)
Championship records
Men Usain Bolt 9.58 (2009)
Women Marion Jones 10.70 (1999)

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 since 1928 for women. The World Championships 100 metres has been contested since 1983.

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Women's 100 m Final – 28th Summer Universiade 2015

The reigning 100 m Olympic or world champion is often named "the fastest man or woman in the world". Christian Coleman and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are the reigning world champions; Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson are the men's and women's Olympic champions.

On an outdoor 400 metres running track, the 100 m is run on the home straight, with the start usually being set on an extension to make it a straight-line race. There are three instructions given to the runners immediately before and at the beginning of the race: "on your marks," "set," and the firing of the starter's pistol. The runners move to the starting blocks when they hear the 'on your marks' instruction. The following instruction, to adopt the 'set' position, allows them to adopt a more efficient starting posture and isometrically preload their muscles: this will help them to start faster. A race-official then fires the starter's pistol to signal the race beginning and the sprinters stride forwards from the blocks. Sprinters typically reach top speed after somewhere between 50 and 60 m. Their speed then slows towards the finish line.

The 10-second barrier has historically been a barometer of fast men's performances, while the best female sprinters take eleven seconds or less to complete the race. The current men's world record is 9.58 seconds, set by Jamaica's Usain Bolt in 2009, while the women's world record of 10.49 seconds set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 remains unbroken.[a]

The 100 m (109.361 yards) emerged from the metrication of the 100 yards (91.44 m), a now defunct distance originally contested in English-speaking countries. The event is largely held outdoors as few indoor facilities have a 100 m straight.

US athletes have won the men's Olympic 100 metres title more times than any other country, 16 out of the 28 times that it has been run. US women have also dominated the event winning 9 out of 21 times.

100 metres Intro articles: 11

Race dynamics

Start

Male sprinters await the starter's instructions

At the start, some athletes play psychological games such as trying to be last to the starting blocks.[3][4][5]

At high level meets, the time between the gun and first kick against the starting block is measured electronically, via sensors built in the gun and the blocks. A reaction time less than 0.1 s is considered a false start. The 0.2-second interval accounts for the sum of the time it takes for the sound of the starter's pistol to reach the runners' ears, and the time they take to react to it.

For many years a sprinter was disqualified if responsible for two false starts individually. However, this rule allowed some major races to be restarted so many times that the sprinters started to lose focus. The next iteration of the rule, introduced in February 2003, meant that one false start was allowed among the field, but anyone responsible for a subsequent false start was disqualified.

This rule led to some sprinters deliberately false-starting to gain a psychological advantage: an individual with a slower reaction time might false-start, forcing the faster starters to wait and be sure of hearing the gun for the subsequent start, thereby losing some of their advantage. To avoid such abuse and to improve spectator enjoyment, the IAAF implemented a further change in the 2010 season – a false starting athlete now receives immediate disqualification.[6] This proposal was met with objections when first raised in 2005, on the grounds that it would not leave any room for innocent mistakes. Justin Gatlin commented, "Just a flinch or a leg cramp could cost you a year's worth of work."[7] The rule had a dramatic impact at the 2011 World Championships, when current world record holder Usain Bolt was disqualified.[8][9]

Mid-race

Runners normally reach their top speed just past the halfway point of the race and they progressively decelerate in the later stages of the race. Maintaining that top speed for as long as possible is a primary focus of training for the 100 m.[10] Pacing and running tactics do not play a significant role in the 100 m, as success in the event depends more on pure athletic qualities and technique.

Finish

The winner, by IAAF Competition Rules, is determined by the first athlete with his or her torso (not including limbs, head, or neck) over the nearer edge of the finish line.[11] There is therefore no requirement for the entire body to cross the finish line. When the placing of the athletes is not obvious, a photo finish is used to distinguish which runner was first to cross the line.

Climatic conditions

Climatic conditions, in particular air resistance, can affect performances in the 100 m. A strong head wind is very detrimental to performance, while a tail wind can improve performances significantly. For this reason, a maximum tail wind of 2.0 m/s is allowed for a 100 m performance to be considered eligible for records, or "wind legal".

Furthermore, sprint athletes perform a better run at high altitudes because of the thinner air, which provides less air resistance. In theory, the thinner air would also make breathing slightly more difficult (due to the partial pressure of oxygen being lower), but this difference is negligible for sprint distances where all the oxygen needed for the short dash is already in the muscles and bloodstream when the race starts. While there are no limitations on altitude, performances made at altitudes greater than 1000 m above sea level are marked with an "A".[12]

100 metres Race dynamics articles: 10

10-second barrier

The 10-second mark had been widely been considered a barrier for the 100 metres. The first man to break the 10 second barrier was Jim Hines at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Since then, numerous sprinters have run faster than 10 seconds.

Ethnicity

Only male sprinters have beaten the 100 m 10-second barrier, majority of them being of West African descent in particular those descendant from the Atlantic Slave trade. Namibian (formerly South-West Africa) Frankie Fredericks became the first man of non-West African heritage to achieve the feat in 1991 and in 2003 Australia's Patrick Johnson (an Indigenous Australian with Irish heritage) became the first sub-10-second runner without an African background.[13][14][15][16]

In 2010, French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre became the first Caucasian to break the 10-second barrier,[16] In 2017, Azerbaijani-born naturalized Turkish Ramil Guliyev followed[17] and in 2018, Filippo Tortu became the first Italian to run under 10s. In the Prefontaine Classic 2015 Diamond League meet at Eugene, Su Bingtian of China ran a time of 9.99 seconds, becoming the first East Asian athlete to officially break the 10-second barrier. On 22 June 2018, Su improved his time in Madrid with a time of 9.91.[18] On 9 September 2017, Yoshihide Kiryū became the first man from Japan to break the 10-second barrier in the 100 metres, running a 9.98 (+1.8) at an intercollegiate meet in Fukui.

100 metres 10-second barrier articles: 19

Record performances

Major 100 m races, such as at the Olympic Games, attract much attention, particularly when the world record is thought to be within reach.

The men's world record has been improved upon twelve times since electronic timing became mandatory in 1977.[19] The current men's world record of 9.58 s is held by Usain Bolt of Jamaica, set at the 2009 World Athletics Championships final in Berlin, Germany on 16 August 2009, breaking his own previous world record by 0.11 s.[20] The current women's world record of 10.49 s was set by Florence Griffith-Joyner of the US, at the 1988 United States Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 16 July 1988[21] breaking Evelyn Ashford's four-year-old world record by .27 seconds. The extraordinary nature of this result and those of several other sprinters in this race raised the possibility of a technical malfunction with the wind gauge which read at 0.0 m/s- a reading which was at complete odds to the windy conditions on the day with high wind speeds being recorded in all other sprints before and after this race as well as the parallel long jump runway at the time of the Griffith-Joyner performance. All scientific studies commissioned by the IAAF and independent organisations since have confirmed there was certainly an illegal tailwind of between 5 m/s – 7 m/s at the time. This should have annulled the legality of this result, although the IAAF has chosen not to take this course of action. The legitimate next best wind legal performance would therefore be Griffith-Joyner's 10.61s performance in the final the next day.[22]

Some records have been marred by prohibited drug use – in particular, the scandal at the 1988 Summer Olympics when the winner, Canadian Ben Johnson was stripped of his medal and world record.

Jim Hines, Ronnie Ray Smith and Charles Greene were the first to break the 10-second barrier in the 100 m, all on 20 June 1968, the Night of Speed. Hines also recorded the first legal electronically timed sub-10 second 100 m in winning the 100 metres at the 1968 Olympics. Bob Hayes ran a wind-assisted 9.91 seconds at the 1964 Olympics.

Continental records

Updated 29 November 2018.[23]

Area Men Women
Time (s) Wind (m/s) Athlete Nation Time (s) Wind (m/s) Athlete Nation
Africa (records) 9.85 +1.7 Olusoji Fasuba  Nigeria 10.78 +1.6 Murielle Ahouré  Ivory Coast
Asia (records) 9.91 +1.8 Femi Ogunode  Qatar 10.79 0.0 Li Xuemei  China
+0.6
+0.2 Su Bingtian  China
+0.8
Europe (records) 9.86 +0.6 Francis Obikwelu  Portugal 10.73 +2.0 Christine Arron  France
+1.3 Jimmy Vicaut  France
+1.8
North, Central America
and Caribbean
(records)
9.58 WR +0.9 Usain Bolt  Jamaica 10.49 WR 0.0 Florence Griffith-Joyner  United States
Oceania (records) 9.93 +1.8 Patrick Johnson  Australia 11.11 +1.9 Melissa Breen  Australia
South America (records) 10.00[A] +1.6 Robson da Silva  Brazil 10.91 −0.2 Rosângela Santos  Brazil

Notes

100 metres Record performances articles: 36

All-time top 25 men

Usain Bolt breaking the world and Olympic records at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Rank Time Wind (m/s) Athlete Country Date Place Ref
1 9.58 +0.9 Usain Bolt  Jamaica 16 August 2009 Berlin [27]
2 9.69 +2.0 Tyson Gay  United States 20 September 2009 Shanghai [28]
−0.1 Yohan Blake  Jamaica 23 August 2012 Lausanne [29]
4 9.72 +0.2 Asafa Powell  Jamaica 2 September 2008 Lausanne [30]
5 9.74 +0.9 Justin Gatlin  United States 15 May 2015 Doha [31]
6 9.76 +0.6 Christian Coleman  United States 28 September 2019 Doha [32]
7 9.78 +0.9 Nesta Carter  Jamaica 29 August 2010 Rieti [33]
8 9.79 +0.1 Maurice Greene  United States 16 June 1999 Athens [34]
9 9.80 +1.3 Steve Mullings  Jamaica 4 June 2011 Eugene [35]
10 9.82 +1.7 Richard Thompson  Trinidad and Tobago 21 June 2014 Port of Spain [36]
11 9.84 +0.7 Donovan Bailey  Canada 27 July 1996 Atlanta
+0.2 Bruny Surin  Canada 22 August 1999 Seville
+1.3 Trayvon Bromell  United States 25 June 2015 Eugene
+1.6 3 July 2016 [37]
14 9.85 +1.2 Leroy Burrell  United States 6 July 1994 Lausanne [38]
+1.7 Olusoji Fasuba  Nigeria 12 May 2006 Doha
+1.3 Mike Rodgers  United States 4 June 2011 Eugene
17 9.86 +1.2 Carl Lewis  United States 25 August 1991 Tokyo [39]
−0.7 Frankie Fredericks  Namibia 3 July 1996 Lausanne
+1.8 Ato Boldon  Trinidad and Tobago 19 April 1998 Walnut
+0.6 Francis Obikwelu  Portugal 22 August 2004 Athens
+1.4 Keston Bledman  Trinidad and Tobago 23 June 2012 Port of Spain
+1.3 Jimmy Vicaut  France 4 July 2015 Saint-Denis [40]
+0.9 Noah Lyles  United States 18 May 2019 Shanghai [41]
+0.8 Divine Oduduru  Nigeria 7 June 2019 Austin [42]
+1.6 Michael Norman  United States 20 July 2020 Fort Worth [43]

More facts about these male runners

Below is a list of other times equal or superior to 9.86:

  • Usain Bolt also holds the world record for the fastest 100 metres with a running start at 8.70 (41 km/h). This was achieved in a 150 metres race during the BUPA Great City Games in Manchester on 17 May 2009, completed in 14.35 (also a world record).[44] He also ran 9.63 (2012), 9.69 (2008), 9.72 (2008), 9.76 (2008, 2011, 2012), 9.77 (2008, 2013), 9.79 (2009, 2012, 2015), 9.80 (2013), 9.81 (2009, 2016), 9.82 (2010, 2012), 9.83 (2008), 9.84 (2010), 9.85 (2008, 2011, 2013) and 9.86 (2009, 2010, 2012, 2016).
  • Tyson Gay also ran 9.71 (2009), 9.77 (2008, 2009), 9.78 (2010), 9.79 (2010, 2011), 9.84 (2006, 2007, 2010), 9.85 (2007, 2008) and 9.86 (2012).
  • Asafa Powell also ran 9.74 (2007), 9.77 (2005, 2006, 2008), 9.78 (2007, 2011), 9.81 (2015), 9.82 (2008, 2009, 2010), 9.83 (2007, 2008, 2010), 9.84 (2005, 2007, 2009, 2015), 9.85 (2005, 2006, 2009, 2012), and 9.86 (2006, 2011).
  • Yohan Blake also ran 9.75 (2012), 9.76 (2012), 9.82 (2011), 9.84 (2012), and 9.85 (2012).
  • Justin Gatlin ran 9.77 in Doha on 12 May 2006, which was at the time ratified as a world record. However, the record was rescinded in 2007 after he failed a doping test in April 2006. He also ran 9.75 (2015), 9.77 (2014, 2015), 9.78 (2015), 9.79 (2012), 9.80 (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), 9.82 (2012, 2014), 9.83 (2014, 2016), 9.85 (2004, 2013) and 9.86 (2014).
  • Tim Montgomery ran 9.78 in Paris on 14 September 2002, which was at the time ratified as a world record.[45] However, the record was rescinded in December 2005 following his indictment in the BALCO scandal on drug use and drug trafficking charges.[46] The time had stood as the world record until Asafa Powell first ran 9.77.[47]
  • Ben Johnson ran 9.79 in Seoul on 24 September 1988, but he was disqualified after he tested positive for stanozolol after the race. He subsequently admitted to drug use between 1981 and 1988, and his time of 9.83 at Rome on 30 August 1987 was rescinded.
  • Christian Coleman also ran 9.79 (2018), 9.81 (2019), 9.82 (2017), 9.85 (2019), and 9.86 (2019).
  • Maurice Greene also ran 9.80 (1999), 9.82 (2001), 9.85 (1999) and 9.86 (1997, 2000).
  • Trayvon Bromell also ran 9.84 (2016).
  • Nesta Carter also ran 9.85 (2010) and 9.86 (2010).
  • Richard Thompson also ran 9.85 (2011).
  • Ato Boldon also ran 9.86 (1998, 1999).
  • Keston Bledman also ran 9.86 (2015).
  • Mike Rodgers also ran 9.86 (2015).
  • Jimmy Vicaut also ran 9.86 (2016).
  • Steve Mullings is serving a lifetime ban for doping.[48]

Assisted marks

Any performance with a following wind of more than 2.0 metres per second is not counted for record purposes. Below is a list of the fastest wind-assisted times (9.80 or better). Only times that are superior to legal bests are shown.

100 metres All-time top 25 men articles: 31

All-time top 25 women

Christine Arron (left) wins the 100 m at the Weltklasse meeting.
Rank Time Wind (m/s) Athlete Nation Date Location Ref
1 10.49 0.0[a] Florence Griffith-Joyner  United States 16 July 1988 Indianapolis
2 10.64 +1.2 Carmelita Jeter  United States 20 September 2009 Shanghai
3 10.65 [A] +1.1 Marion Jones  United States 12 September 1998 Johannesburg
4 10.70 +0.6 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce  Jamaica 29 June 2012 Kingston
+0.3 Elaine Thompson  Jamaica 1 July 2016 Kingston [54]
6 10.73 +2.0 Christine Arron  France 19 August 1998 Budapest
7 10.74 +1.3 Merlene Ottey  Jamaica 7 September 1996 Milan
+1.0 English Gardner  United States 3 July 2016 Eugene [37]
9 10.75 +0.4 Kerron Stewart  Jamaica 10 July 2009 Rome
+1.6 Sha'Carri Richardson  United States 8 June 2019 Austin [55]
11 10.76 +1.7 Evelyn Ashford  United States 22 August 1984 Zürich
+1.1 Veronica Campbell-Brown  Jamaica 31 May 2011 Ostrava
13 10.77 +0.9 Irina Privalova  Russia 6 July 1994 Lausanne
+0.7 Ivet Lalova  Bulgaria 19 June 2004 Plovdiv
15 10.78 [A] +1.0 Dawn Sowell  United States 3 June 1989 Provo
10.78 +1.8 Torri Edwards  United States 26 June 2008 Eugene
+1.6 Murielle Ahouré  Ivory Coast 11 June 2016 Montverde [56]
+1.0 Tianna Bartoletta  United States 3 July 2016 Eugene [37]
+1.0 Tori Bowie  United States 3 July 2016 Eugene [37]
20 10.79 0.0 Li Xuemei  China 18 October 1997 Shanghai
−0.1 Inger Miller  United States 22 August 1999 Seville
+1.1 Blessing Okagbare  Nigeria 27 July 2013 London
23 10.81 +1.7 Marlies Göhr  East Germany 8 June 1983 Berlin
−0.3 Dafne Schippers  Netherlands 24 August 2015 Beijing [57]
25 10.82 −1.0 Gail Devers  United States 1 August 1992 Barcelona
+1.5 7 July 1993 Lausanne
−0.3 16 August 1993 Stuttgart
+0.4 Gwen Torrence  United States 3 September 1994 Paris
−0.3 Zhanna Block  Ukraine 6 August 2001 Edmonton
−0.7 Sherone Simpson  Jamaica 24 June 2006 Kingston
+0.9 Michelle-Lee Ahye  Trinidad and Tobago 24 June 2017 Port of Spain [58]

More facts about these female runners

  • Florence Griffith-Joyner's world record has been the subject of a controversy due to strong suspicion of a defective anemometer measuring a tailwind lower than actually present;[59] since 1997 the International Athletics Annual of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians has listed this performance as "probably strongly wind assisted, but recognised as a world record".[60] It can be reasonable to assume a wind reading of about +4.7 m/s for Griffith-Joyner's quarter-final. Her legal 10.61 the following day and 10.62 at the 1988 Olympics would still make her the world record holder.[61]

Below is a list of all other legal times equal or superior to 10.82:

  • As well as the 10.61 (1988) and 10.62 (1988) mentioned in the more facts section, Florence Griffith-Joyner also ran 10.70 (1988).
  • Carmelita Jeter also ran 10.67 (2009), 10.70 (2011), 10.78 (2011, 2012), 10.81 (2012), and 10.82 (2010).
  • Marion Jones also ran 10.70 (1999), 10.71 (1998), 10.72 (1998), 10.75 (1998), 10.76 (1997, 1999), 10.77 (1998), 10.78 (2000), 10.79 (1998), 10.80 (1998, 1999), 10.81 (1997, 1998), and 10.82 (1998).
  • Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also ran 10.71 (2013, 2019), 10.72 (2013), 10.73 (2009, 2019), 10.74 (2015, 2019), 10.75 (2012), 10.76 (2015), 10.77 (2013), 10.78 (2008, 2019), 10.79 (2009, 2015), 10.80 (2019), 10.81 (2015, 2019), and 10.82 (2015).
  • Elaine Thompson also ran 10.71 (2016, 2017), 10.72 (2016), 10.73 (2019), and 10.78 (2016, 2017).
  • Kerron Stewart also ran 10.75 (2009) and 10.80 (2008).
  • Merlene Ottey also ran 10.78 (1990, 1994), 10.79 (1991), 10.80 (1992), and 10.82 (1990, 1993).
  • Veronica Campbell-Brown also ran 10.78 (2010), 10.81 (2012), and 10.82 (2012).
  • Evelyn Ashford also ran 10.79 (1983) and 10.81 (1988).
  • English Gardner also ran 10.79 (2015) and 10.81 (2016).
  • Tori Bowie also ran 10.80 (2014, 2016), 10.81 (2015), and 10.82 (2015).
  • Blessing Okagbare also ran 10.80 (2015).
  • Christine Arron also ran 10.81 (1998).
  • Inger Miller also ran 10.81 (1999).
  • Murielle Ahouré also ran 10.81 (2015).
  • Irina Privalova also ran 10.82 (1992).
  • Gail Devers also ran 10.82 (1993).
  • Gwen Torrence also ran 10.82 (1996).

Assisted marks

Any performance with a following wind of more than 2.0 metres per second is not counted for record purposes. Below is a list of the fastest wind-assisted times (10.82 or better). Only times that are superior to legal bests are shown.

100 metres All-time top 25 women articles: 28

Season's bests

100 metres Season's bests articles: 90