Fastest run 100 metres (male)
Usain Bolt
9.58 second(s)
Germany (Berlin)

With a time of 9.58 seconds Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Berlin, Germany 16 August 2009 Bolt shattered his own record of 9.69 seconds exactly one year to the day when he won the Olympic gold medal. This run helped him win the gold medal at the World Championships. Tyson Gay (USA) ran the third fastest time ever (9.71 sec) to finish second.

Every sport has its heroes, but few reach the level of fame attained by sprinter Usain St Leo Bolt (JAM). Not only holder of the 100 m and 200 m records, he is also the first athlete to win the 100 m and 200 m at successive Olympic Games. But how did the fastest man become an athletics superstar?

Usain Bolt was often accused of being hyperactive when growing up. In his early teens, he turned to sport as a way of putting this excess energy to good use.

Bolt’s first passion was cricket, but on noting his speed, his parents encouraged him to focus on track and field. His first medal – a bronze – was achieved at his high school at the age of 13. Although it was for 80 m hurdles, this early win served to galvanize his athletics ambitions.

In 2002, he made his global debut at the IAAF World Junior T&F Championships in Kingston, Jamaica. Running the 200 m in 20.61 sec, he earned his country’s only individual gold at the event, aged just 15.

Despite a period of illness, Bolt came back fighting at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, breaking records for the 100 m, 200 m and 4 x 100 m relay – all of which he beat again in subsequent competitions.

Asked how he felt about receiving a medal during GWR’s 60th anniversary (above), Bolt told us: “When one thinks of Guinness World Records, automatically, extraordinary and remarkable comes to mind. So for me to be included, I am truly honoured and delighted.”