The Worlds Fastest Man Will Be Crowned On Sunday [VIDEO]
As the Track and Field portion of the 2012 Olympics get underway, with it brings the the most prestigious title: The World's Fastest Man. The title, given to the winner of the Men's 100 Meter dash, could be given to young man not quite yet a house hold name. Let's preview Sunday's race and see who could dethrone the reigning champ, Usain Bolt.
Since destroying the 100 Meter world record at the 2008 Olympics in Bejing, Usain Bolt has become a world-wide phenomenon, and rightfully so. Bolt ran a blistering 9.69 seconds that night, besting the previous world record of 9.72 seconds held by countryman, Asafa Powell. Bolt subsequently lowered that time to 9.58 seconds just a year later. Thinking "hell, I can do that!" ? Bolt's speed was clocked at 27.45 MPH. The average man runs at 15 MPH on a good day.
The percentage that Bolt lowered the world record is staggering. To put this in perspective, From 1991-1999, the record fell from 9.86 seconds to 9.79 seconds, just .05 of a second over eight years. From 1999-2005, a six year span saw just .02 of a second fall off the record as it stood at 9.77 seconds. Watching Bolt lower the record to 9.58 seconds is a .19 second difference from 2005-2009 - 3.8 times more than the the record fell in the decade of the 90's. Picture Albert Pujols hitting 84 home runs this season - yeah.
So, who will topple the giant during Sunday's 100 Meter dash final? There are four guys that will have a chance in my opinion, and one is a man you have probably never heard of before.
1) Tyson Gay: The U.S. hopeful has the most impressive stats. World champion in 2007 and 2009. The third fastest 100 meter time in history at 9.69 seconds, and he is the second fastest human in the world behind Bolt. The problem? Injuries. In '08, an injury in the 200 Meter hurt his chances and he did not medal in either race. He also dropped the baton in the men's 4x100 meter race in Bejing and the team went home sans medal. Bolt got the glory and you forgot about Gay. His 9.86 second run at the Olympic Trials show he's remember to remind you.
2) Asafa Powell. The former world recorder holder has the most sub ten second races in the history of the sport with 79. It's possible that Powell peaked at the wrong time by setting the world record in 2005, a year after a fifth place finish in the 2004 games. Four years went by before his next Olympic shot and an injury cost him two months of competing in 2008. He managed a fifth place finish yet again in Bejing. Look for one of the best accelerators on the track to make a push.
3) Justin Gatlin: Monte, why are you picking a 30 year old man who just returned from a four year ban on doping? In 2004, a young Gatlin won the Olympic games and has a gold medal to his name. Sadly, he failed a drug test due to medication he was on for attention deficit disorder in 2001. Then in 2006, he failed another drug test in which his coach, Trevor Graham, took the blame for. Gatlin served the ban and has been back in top form since his return. At the U.S. Olympic trials, he clocked a 9.80 second race, a record for a man over 30. He has major race experience and could probably be the most relaxed man in the blocks. With pressure on Bolt to repeat, Gatlin could cash in.
4) Yohan Blake: Who? Exactly. However, this 22 year old may shock the world on Sunday. At the end of June, he ran the 7th fastest time in history with a 9.75 second performance. Blake owns the fastest time of 2012 and is the defending world champion. The youngest world champion ever has made quite the name for himself and seems to be the trendy pick to medal. He has a victory over Bolt this year, besting him at the Olympic Trials. We may see big things from this young man over the next few years, starting with Sunday.
As for the other runner's in the field, it's not much of a competition. No disrespect but Bolt, Gay, Powell, Gatlin and Blake own 39 of the 44 fastest times in the history of the race if my math is correct. Bolt recently lost to Blake in the trials and was disqualified at the World Championships for a false start. Rumors have swirled that he had a little injury as well. He's been cleared to run but it hasn't been a great year for the defending Fastest Man in the World. I'd like to hop on the Blake wagon, but if Bolt is healthy, I don't see anyone taking the title - this time.
Who do you think wins gold on Sunday?