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Maurice Greene on the five greatest 100m sprinters ever

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Eight sprinters crouch in the starting blocks. Less than 10 exhilarating seconds after the starting pistol is fired, the winner claims the title of “world’s fastest man.”

No wonder the 100m final is track and field’s marquee event at the Olympics.

Before Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin dominated the event, Maurice Greene was the household name in sprinting. The 2000 Olympic 100m champion broke the 100m world record in 1999, becoming the first man to cover the distance in less than 9.8 seconds.

Greene revealed his list of history’s five greatest 100m sprinters, listed below in alphabetical order, while attending USA Track & Field’s Black Tie & Sneakers Gala:

Usain Bolt

Fastest 100m: 9.58 seconds (2009)

Olympic 100m gold medals: 2008, 2012

Greene on Bolt: “Nobody has ever seen anything like him before. I will never put anything past him because he’s such a freak of nature.”

Justin Gatlin

Fastest 100m: 9.74 seconds (2015)

Olympic 100m gold medal: 2004

Greene on Gatlin: “Sprinters are either powerful or finesse. Justin is a powerful runner.”

Maurice Greene

Fastest 100m: 9.79 seconds (1999)

Olympic 100m gold medal: 2000

Greene on Greene: “I don’t want to sound conceded, but I would put myself up there.”

Carl Lewis

Fastest 100m: 9.86 seconds (1991)

Olympic 100m gold medals: 1984, 1988

Greene on Lewis: “Carl Lewis did so much for our sport. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think our sport would be where it is now. And whenever something was on the line, he was the toughest guy out there.”

Jesse Owens

Fastest 100m: 10.2 seconds (1936)

Olympic 100m gold medal: 1936

Greene on Owens: “Yes, we are running a lot faster than Jesse Owens did. But we don’t have to compete against anything like he had to compete against in his time. A lot of people would have folded under those conditions.”


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