Best Sprinters of All Time

camtheman3x6

The Top Ten

1 Usain Bolt Usain Bolt Usain St. Leo Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter. Regarded as the fastest person ever timed, he is the first man to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records since fully automatic time measurements became mandatory in 1977. Along with his teammates, he also set the world record in the 4├Ś100 metres ...read more.

he got a trmendous energy to increase his speed throughout 100m...

He ran that 100 and broke the record like it was nothing. He made it look easy and was celebrating b4 it even finished. - Flyingcobra

Pretty obvious wander, how many other sprinters have done what bolt has and are so marketable. Ya, no one, not only is he the fastest man ever, he is probably the most badass too.

The God/Godzilla of track n field...!

V 92 Comments
2 Michael Johnson Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson holding both 200m and 400m makes him the greatest. Those are the two most difficult sprints. By the way, what is Dwain Chambers doing in the list?

Had it not been for a bug from food in Spain Johnson would have won golds in Barcelona too thus reigning supreme over 3 consecutive Olympics in both 200 and 400 and everything in between. Johnson won his races apparently strolling hardly breaking sweat unless he was pushing to beat his own record. He was just way head of anyone else and also ran with a shocking leaning back style.
Bolt clearly has a huge physical stature but Johnson's secret was and still remains amazingly a total mystery. Even super Bolt manages only a few centimetres ahead of Johnson when breaking Johnson's record. One can only imagine them racing side by side.

This is just one great sprinter...

good

V 8 Comments
3 Tyson Gay

he has even raced down bolt

The second fastest man in history he is for me the best as he is also the first man in history to race in the the 400m under 45s 200m under 20s and 100m under 10s and he is the only man to ever beat bolt in a final.

Shouldn't be on this list due to being tested positive?

Beat Usain bolt

V 3 Comments
4 Asafa Powell

He is the most complete sprinter of all time. He has the best start and the best form. He just needs to believe in himself

he has a lot of potential to match up with bolt

Also shouldn't be on this list for testing positive?

Asafa powell is a amazing sprinter if you compare him with tyson gay and usain bolt they are the comparetities and the pressure is always on. They have a lot of potential of getting a medal I rio 2016

V 1 Comment
5 Carl Lewis Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis always will be remembered as the single most captivating sprinter the world of track & field has ever seen in the circuit of Olympic competition. He was consistent and versatile and always would win gold medals in his pursuits.

All sorts of things change with time; things that improve performances in general. I think the only way to compare athletes is by comparing how they performed against other athletes during the period they performed.
In 1980, Carl Lewis was ranked 8th in the world among sprinters in 100 meters. From that year through 1992 he was never ranked lower than third, and he didn't drop from the top 10 until 1995. That is 15 years in the top 10. Six times he ranked number 1.

He was versatile and won multiple medals.

Just my opinion. I'm sure others on here have stated good reasons why he is the best.

V 11 Comments
6 Maurice Green

He ran 51 sub-ten sec races. The first man to run under 9.8.

He changed the sprinting style.

Please had a long carrer and produced some of the greatest preformances ever seen. Plus 9.81 in edmonton with injury could have gone sub 9.7, as well extremley consistent.

7 Milkha Singh

Greatest Indian athlete of all time.He made Indians proud.

He is one of the best athletes on the planet and he makes Indian proud

Personally for me Milkha Singh is a hero and an idol. A lot of things that put him down but he didn't give up and moved a long. He is the greatest athlete of all time.

One of the greatest athlete of the time..

V 35 Comments
8 Jesse Owens Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens is one of the greatest sprinters ever. What he accomplished at a time with very limited track technology and training is remarkable. If he had a modern weight training and dieting program, he could probably be a contender in the world first heat. The track that he used to run on is nothing compared to the modern track, which allows you to bounce off the surface much easier. He also didn't have modern racing shoes, which modern athletes take for granted. If Jesse Owens ran today, I would say he would be close to competing with Usain Bolt.

Greatness has many different definitions by various people / groups. It should not always be based on sprint times and lasting longevity. Owens performance in the 1936 Olympics is the single greatest event in Olympic History given the racists socialist Germans led by Hitler and the pressure put on him at the time.

This guy was the first to brake 10 seconds so he has to at least in the top 5

A legend... what ran him is his anger against racism.

V 10 Comments
9 Linford Christie

Dwain chambers can never match him or even beat him in a race because he's just one of the greatest british sprinters of all time. I believe dwain chambers should be at the bottom of the list because he's no role model after the drug ban

The greatest if he had the same kind of running shoes and all the legal energy boosting foods supplements no comparison lol

Linford Christie 1999 - tested positive?

Best ever

10 Dwain Chambers

Kept GB sprinting

the best

9.87 PB... So you lot... Might as well shh. And being the best british sprinter at this moment, winning the British trials. Beat Harry aitkins, marlin devonish, Mark Lewis francis

The Newcomers

? Dafne Schippers
? Gina L├╝ckenkemper

The Contenders

11 Yohan Blake Yohan Blake

He beat Tyson gay and has potential to eventually beat usain

Yohan blake is the 2nd greatest sprinter of all times behind usain bolt

Yohan is very shy and ran the second fastest 100 m with a lot of nerve issue!

2nd fastest sprinter of all time

V 12 Comments
12 Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix is the best sprinter the world has ever seen.

She is just amazing, her zeal in every race is worth admiring... she will be in my books the greatest sprinter we have seen even more than the male counterparts

My favorite athlete of all time.

13 Justin Gatlin

Are you people crazy! He should be in the top 5

He beat USA in bolt in a rac and beat his time by 13 seconds

He is a drug user.

He is actually faster than bolt now in 2017

V 2 Comments
14 Donovan Bailey

Remember when Donovan Bailey raced Michael Johnson head-to-head to prove who was the fastest, and Johnson faked an injury the instant he realized Bailey was going to win? Johnson (currently ranked #2) never won a race against Bailey.

In his prime D.B. was the best in the world, and deserves to be much higher than # 16

Lack of respect for the sport of sprinting when Donovan isn't even in the top ten,

Top 5 for sure

V 5 Comments
15 Richard Thompsan

He is the MOST IDIOTIC athlete in the WORLD!.

HE IS NOT IDIOTIC!

Idiotic man

16 Ben Johnson

Drug or no drugs, he was the first man to break the 9.80 barrier, His 9.79 time stood for 20 years. I don't know about you, but I couldn't run sub 12 even if you shot me with 10x the amount they were taking and swapped my blood out for a cheetah's. Who knows how fast he could have run. And imagine how fast he would run today, with the training, supplementation, and science athletes get today. He left the sport before his peak. I believe he had the ability to run a sub 9.60, given 5 more years of "Ben" training, putting him at 32 years of age, when men are considered at their peek in performance. Ben is hands down the fastest true sprinter, which to me is defined as the individual that moves his legs the fastest. Some people believe that the fastest time = the person the moves his/her legs the fastest, but that's not necessarily true. Take for example, Usain Bolt. He was born with a natural advantage for sprinting...height. at 6'5", his legs are naturally longer. Longer legs = longer ...more

The Seoul 88 final is one of the greatest and most compelling moments in sporting history, with Ben Johnson the star performer. He was magnificent, exploding out of the blocks, ahead of the field within the first second, leaving the rest trailing in his wake by 50m. Maybe he would be pegged back as the longer legged Lewis and Christie gathered momentum? Not a chance! Johnson kept going, like a bullet. The one fingered salute as he strode across the line was a pose befitting the magnificence of his win. He beat America's golden boy Lewis by a mile on the biggest stage of all. The stadium of circa 90,000 people screamed as he flew along the track in the blistering sunshine. A beautiful stage befitting an amazing moment in time. 9.79 in 1988 was phenomenal and on a par with Bolt's performance in Beijing 08. However Johnson had so many characteristics which made him such compelling viewing and an icon - characteristics which Bolt just hasn't got. The quiet bad guy attitude, the powerful ...more

Ben Johnson is the greatest, and most complete sprinter of all time. Unfortunately, he was caught doing what EVERY athlete does at the top level...

Best sprinter of all time Drugs? topsports and drugs are twins.

V 7 Comments
17 Wallace Spearman
18 Bob Hayes

Won 44 sprint finals before retiring from amateur track to play for the cowboys, ran the most incredible anchor org in the 400m final leading the USA to a huge victory after starting 3-4 meters back. In his early 30s with n track training beat Mel gray in his home town of sl running 4.3 with a starters gun and blocks daily a 4.2 or better. Look at the improvement I equipment, training year round and speed of tracks was anyone ever really better. It would be hard to prove Dennis Crnkovich

Beat

T

In my opinion the 2nd fastest man of all time after Usain Bolt. He ran a 10.06 electronic time at 100m during the Tokyo Olympics which bettered the previous world record of 10.25, which is a huge gap. If he was around today in his prime then I don't think a mid-9.6 is out of possibility.

Not as fast consistently as Usain Bolt, but for one moment in time, he ran faster than any human being in history.
His anchor leg in the Olympic 4X100 relay cannot count for record consideration, but his speed near the finish line in that race exceeds even Bolt's best.
Various sources have his hand time for that leg at an inhuman 8.8 or 8.9.
If you watch the grainy black and white footage, it looks like he is literally rocket-propelled; getting the baton in last place, then making those other top-tier Olympic athletes look like elementary school kids.

Possibly the fastest sprinter that ever lived.
His short lived career running on dirt and cinder tracks, training around his football schedule without any name coach, breaking the WR with gold metals and retiring before his prime would put him on the list as one of the fastest of all time.

V 1 Comment
19 Wayde van Niekerk

He crushed Michael Johnson's 400m world record and is the only human ever to run under 10 seconds in the 100m, under 20 seconds in the 200m, and under 44 seconds in the 400. in 4 years he will be second only to Usain Bolt.

Wayde is better than Usain Bolt. Sprint races include the 100m, 200m, 300m, and 400m. Overall, he has done the best in all 4 and this makes him the greatest sprinter, not Usain Bolt.

For your information, he isn't the first man to go under 10s in 100m, the first man to go under 20s in 200m nor the first man to go under 44s in 400m. Don't listen to this dude who posted without fact checking his info.

Fastest ever over the 300m and 400m, only Bolt's 100m/ 200m can compare.

V 3 Comments
20 Bruce Jenner

Just as much right to be up their as any other athlete. Jenner may not have as much medals but he was in a time where the Russians were dominating the games. He was considered a hero.

He's cool

21 Kirani James

He won the 400m at the London olympics at just 19!

He is the only athlete who came close to Michael Jhonson's 400m record at a young age.

22 Christophe Lemaitre

He beat Gatlin who beat Bolt week ago.
he is the current best european - tmtm

He is the fastest white man in the world

23 Ato Boldon
24 Jesse Owen

He is one of the best athlete in the world he should be after usian bolt

25 Frank Fredericks

Frankie Fredericks is a top ten sprinter all day long. Completely and utterly shameful that Frankie is this low on the list.

HE IS Namibia'S BEST SPRINTER YET. he has a 100m personal best of 9.86 and a 200m personal best of 19.68, this is 6th fastest time ever. he is a two time olympic 200m silver medalist and 1 time world championship gold medalist. he is also a 1 time 100m world championship silver medallist..

26 Don Quarrie
27 Pietro Mennea

Nice to see Pietro on the list.

Are You kidding? He held the world record for 17 years!

The best!

28 Mohamed Farah

He isn't even a sprinter

29 Valeriy Borzov

Greatest ever over two Olympics 72 & 76

30 Jim Hines

Under rated because he came after legend bob hayes.

31 Tommie Smith

Any all time top ten list without Tommie Smith is invalid, inaccurate, and blasphemous. When you only think his demonstration in the Olympic Medal Ceremony, and not his accomplishments in the 200/220...400/440...and even the 100 yards/meters...you miss out on someone who is absolutely in the top 5 of all time

32 Percy Williams
33 Paul Nash

In an age before drugs - he might have won in Mexico City if he had been allowed to compete in 1968.

34 Wilma Rudolph

Look her up

35 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Great athlete who has had longevity 4th fastest all time

She is the only woman to win the world & olympics title simultaneously twice and the only woman to win 3 world title over the 100m

36 James Dasaolu

He is a fast European

37 Peter Norman

I meant not Peter Morman

38 Reece Prescod
39 Olusoji Fasuba

The current African record holder

40 Calvin Smith
41 Steve Williams
42 Eulace Peacock
43 Dina Asher-Smith
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Top Ten Jamaican Sprinters Countries with the Best Sprinters Best 100m Male Sprinters

List Stats

1,000 votes
45 listings
9 years, 113 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Usain Bolt
2. Tyson Gay
3. Michael Johnson
mleat97
1. Usain Bolt
2. Jesse Owens
3. Carl Lewis
TomSalman
1. Milkha Singh
2. Usain Bolt
3. Michael Johnson
sammy202

WRemix
View All 5

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.
P