The sprint category has been a part of the multi-sporting extravaganza since its first edition — in 1896.
The men’s 100m sprint event has, on numerous occasions, seen records being equalled or broken and that’s what makes it the biggest crowd-puller at the Games.
From America’s Thomas Burke — the first champion in the 100m race to Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt dazzling the stage with his three consecutive titles, the athletes competing in this event are the fastest men on the planet and some of the best athletes ever.
TimesofIndia.com here takes at the top three male athletes who have excelled in this category over the decades
The Olympic record for the men’s 100m dash is 9.63 seconds, set by Usain Bolt during the 2012 London Olympics. Widely regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time, Bolt, in 2012, broke his own record of 9.81 seconds which he set during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Top three athletes with most medals:
Usain Bolt – Jamaica (Three golds)
An eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt sits right at the top of the list when it comes to sprint competitions. The Jamaican completely dominated the event, including at the Olympics, between 2008 to 2016 when he was just unbeatable.
The world record holder in the 100m, 200m and 4×100m relay, Bolt still remains the only sprinter to win the Olympic men’s 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympics, a feat that would be hard to match even for the best of athletes.
The three gold medals — the highest in the category — which Bolt clinched in the men’s 100m event were in 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio Games.
Carl Lewis – USA (Two golds in men’s 100m)
One of the greatest track and field athletes in the history of the Games, American Frederick Carlton Lewis claimed nine golds and a silver medal at the Olympics in various events which included the men’s 100m, 200m, 4×100m relay races and long jump.
His two gold medals in the 100m event put him in the second spot behind Usain Bolt in the list of most successful 100m athletes.
Lewis’ twin gold medals in the men’s 100m event were won during the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Games.
(Photo credit: World Athletics)
Justin Gatlin – USA (One gold, one silver, one bronze in men’s 100m)
A five-time Olympic and a 12-time World Championship medalist, American Justin Gatlin is third on the list of most medals won in the men’s 100m event at the Olympics.
Gatlin has so far won a gold, a silver and a bronze while competing in the 100m races at the Olympics.
The now 39-year-old athlete won his maiden gold during the 2004 Athens Olympics with a timing of 9.85 seconds. In the 2012 London Games, Gatlin attained his personal best timing of 9.79 seconds and settled for a bronze behind Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake. Then, in the 2016 Rio Games, Gatlin clinched a silver with a timing of 9.89 seconds, just behind Bolt.
The veteran American is now all set to compete in the upcoming Tokyo Games and will become the oldest man ever to win an Olympic track medal if he makes it to the podium in Tokyo.