Top 10 Best Sprinters of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Usain Bolt Usain St Leo Bolt is a Jamaican retired sprinter, widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time. He is a world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay.

An eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Bolt is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016). He also won two 4 × 100 relay gold medals... read more

His dominance speaks for itself. Jesse Owens got 4 gold medals in one olympics - but he did only one olympics, Bolt has done 2 so far with 6 medals and looks set to get 3 in Rio. Carl Lewis also got 4 medals in one olympics, but was not able to repeat in the 200 meters - which Bolt did, did not break as many world records as Bolt has already done - three alone in Beijing - 2 more in 2009 Berlin World Championships - 4 by 100 meters record in Daegu in 2011, new record in the 4 by 100 in London 2012. In addition, Bolt is quite simply more popular than Carl Lewis - who is not as comfortable around regular people - fans or not - is easily irritated by the press - and simply has not made as much money as Bolt. Although the american sprinter Bob Hayes was in many ways the best ' raw and physically intimidating ' sprinter ever to run the 100 meters, he did one olympics and then fizzled away. Bolt has done 2 olympics and is still around preparing for a third.

2 Michael Johnson

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.

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?

Broke the WR in the 200 by.34 after braking it by.06 just a few months earlier. One of my favorite athletes of all time

3 Tyson Gay

Tyson gay is faster than Michael Johnson. Watch Out for Tyson Gay in Rio de Janeiro.

Has the American record in 100 and tied for second fastest all time. Indoor 200 Wr

He could've beat Usain Bolt on that one race if he had gotten a good start

4 Asafa Powell

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

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

Amazing Sprinter, sucks that he got injured in london.

5 Maurice Greene

He changed the sprinting style.

He was just great!

6 Carl Lewis Frederick Carlton "Carl" Lewis is an American former track and field athlete who won nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal, and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold. His career spanned from 1979 to 1996, when he last won an Olympic event.

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.

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.

Absolutely! I always admired Michael Johnson running style as beautiful loved to see him run, and Husain bolt who left his opponents in his dust, but Carl Lewis and longevity his is the greatest sprinter so far.

7 Allyson Felix

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

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

My favorite athlete of all time.

8 Milkha Singh

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.

He may not be the greatest sprinter of all time but he is certainly the greatest sprinter of India of all time.

I respect milkha Singh a lot. The main thing is that how he sacrifised a lot in his life and broke the world record of 400 metre and the way he took his body to extrem. I salute him

9 Dwain Chambers

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

10 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 Contenders
11 Jesse Owens James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) was an American track and field athlete and four-time gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic Games.Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump and was recognized in his lifetime as "perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history". He set three world records and tied another, all in less than an hour at... read more

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.

Jesse ran on cinders and had no starting blocks or Steroids! He should be remembered as the greatest if not the fastest. He made Monkeys out of Hitlers "Supermen" in 1936 Olympics in the 100M, 200M and as a member of the 4 x 100M team! A real Man from humble beginnings.

12 Yohan Blake

Is unreasonable that he is not in the top 3.
He run 2nd fastest 100m of all time tied up with Gay but he beats him due to the air conditions (Gay had a +2.0 while Blake had a -0.1).
He also run the 2nd fastest 200m of all time and rummors say that had he had the same start reaction as Bolt when he run the world record he would be the world record holder.
So... If Bolt never existed Blake would be the fastest man of all time. But he is not rude and fancy and that's why no one voted for him. That's sad...

Yohan Blake is the 2nd greatest sprinter I agre
Number 2 you here me!
Quality, top class
Yohan Blake!

Blake is a re good sprinter... Who knows what he could do in the future?

13 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.

Should be #2. Only 2 sprinters winning a gold medal since 84 haven't tested positive. Bailey and Bolt.

Should be higher than michael Johnson because he beat him in Toronto!

14 Richard Thompson
15 Ben Johnson

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 squat muscular look, the thrilling rivalry and bad feeling with Lewis (even better than the Prost Senna rivalry in F1), the all-red kit of Canada and the ability to perform under the most incredible pressure. He and Lewis made that the golden era of 100m. How I miss characters like that in sport. And yes there is the matter of the steroids, but that moment in time in 1988 was so magnificent, I can't let the drugs cloud my judgement, as I'm sure they were all doing it and he sill annihilated them. If Bolt is clean in today's world, then he's magnificent and I can't fault him as an athlete. But never in my lifetime will anyone ever give me 10 seconds of sheer sporting wonder like Ben did in '88.

16 Justin Gatlin

Its well stated that his in the top ten for 100m but it should be said that he has 2nd best top speed ever which is 29 mph. He went 27.8 in a 9.7 race which is right up there. But he also once hit 9.45 in a ad windmills blew at him but experts said no wind puts him at 9.64 so 2nd best 100m and top speed he hit 0.77 on a 10m split. It turns out Bolt went faster than 27.8 in his 9.58 pr and also hit 29. There are 10 people who beat 28 mph including Yohan Blake, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell. There are 100 people who ran 27, 2000 people who ran 25 and 20000 people who get over 23 mph under 11.5

Justin gatlin is amazing he ran an official 9.64 in the 100m sprint. He runs just about as fast as bolt he worked so hard in those years in the relays and sprints likely gatlin or Coleman could be the best in the 110m hurdles and usain bolt could be the fastest in also the 300m hurdles. Justin gatlin is from Brooklyn he is cool and strong has great technique usain bolt and gatlin can reach 28 mph.

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

17 Wallace Spearmon
18 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.

No you misunderstand. He is the first person who's ever done all three. Johnson never ran a sub 10 100m. Bolt's never gone sub 44 in the 400m. Van Niekerk has run sub 10, sub 20 and sub 44. ALL THREE!

Wayde is the 1st and only to run sub-10, sub-20, sub-31, sub-44 (multiple times)
Also 1 of 2(him and Michael Johnson) to ever get medals in
200m and 400m in World Championships. Only 1 of 2(him and Michael Johnson)
to defend a 400m world title.

19 Bob Hayes

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.

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.

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.

21 Christophe Lemaitre

He is awesome best sprinter ever. It is well known that race gender age and other things depend on speed. Yeah it is a scientific fact that you have to be a certain age to be the fastest probably male gender to maybe not race. Any one of any race could be the best Christopher lemaitre is the fastest white man he is awesome. He is three inches shorter than bolt and has shorter legs for his size if he was the same size that would likely shave off his time at least down to 9.7 seconds in the 100 meter dash. Being as bulky makes a slight difference make that down to 9.7 or 9.6 if he was black I guess that would make a natural difference not much but some Girls and guys both run fast guys are slight better black guys naturally will have those certain muscles so maybe Chris would be getting at least around 9:58 seconds being African. But still not much of a difference and chord is really amazing he still hits top speeds like 27 mph.

He is the fastest white guy to ever live that is saying something he should be in the top 10

22 Ato Boldon
23 Kirani James

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

24 Pietro Mennea

Underrated. He was the first athlete capable to won two medals on Olympic 200m (after him: Lewis, Bolt and De grasse) and the only one who reached four Olympic final in this race, in which he held the world record for 17 years and still holds the european record since 43 years. He deserves to be at least in the top 15, just like his main challenger in the era, Valery Borzov

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

The smallest but the greatest!

25 Don Quarrie
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