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Usain Bolt “not worried” about his world records being broken

Bolt's 100m and 200m world records have stood for 14 years

Usain Bolt Grand Prix Photo by: Kevin Morris

Although it feels like just a few years ago that Usain Bolt won his third consecutive Olympic double in the 100m and 200m at the 2016 Olympics, it’s been almost seven years since he last competed professionally. Bolt retired as the biggest star in athletics, and still considers himself a fan of the sport. In a recent interview with World Athletics, the eight-time Olympic champion was asked if he thinks his 100m and 200m world records will fall anytime soon. Bolt replied that he is “not worried” about that possibility.

Bolt’s world record marks of 9.58 seconds in the 100m and 19.19 seconds in the 200m were both set at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. “I’m not worried about any of them,” Bolt said regarding the times. “I think the hundred will be harder (to break) because it’s quicker. If you make a mistake during the race, you’re not going to get it. It’s a lot more technical.” 

The Jamaican sprinting icon told World Athletics that he knew he was going to break the world record in Berlin, because he was in excellent shape at the time.

Asafa Powell Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt on the top of the podium with Team Jamaica in the men’s 4x100m relay at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. Photo: W/C

The 2022 100m world champion Fred Kerley and the current world champion Noah Lyles have been vocal about trying to chase Bolt’s records, but neither has come close. Lyles, who was named as the 2023 World Athletics Male Track Athlete of the Year after winning three gold medals in Budapest, came within a tenth of a second of the 200m world record at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Ore., running 19.31 seconds to win gold and set the American 200m record. His time made him the third-fastest 200m runner in history behind the two Jamaicans: Bolt’s 19.19 and Yohan Blake’s 19.26.

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Bolt’s 100m record of 9.58 has gone untouched for 14 years and 4 months, and on May 8, 2024, he will surpass U.S. sprinter Jim Hines to become the athlete who has held the 100m world record the longest.  Hines was the first sprinter to break the 10-second barrier in 1968 and held the 100m world record for 14 years, 8 months and 19 days, until another American sprinter, Calvin Smith, lowered his mark by two-hundredths of a second in 1983.

No sprinter has run under 9.75 seconds since 2015. 

Usain Bolt
Jamaican fans mob Usain Bolt after race at the adidas Grand Prix Diamond League at Icahn Stadium in New York. Photo: Kevin Morris

The 37-year-old said he enjoys still being referred to as the fastest man ever, and it’s something he will never get tired of hearing. “It’s a great title to have. It’s something that I enjoy hearing and I enjoy knowing,” said Bolt.

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