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Sunday will see a huge number of gold medals handed out at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with the men’s 100-metre sprint earning top billing.
There will also be medals handed out in the women’s marathon and triple jump, as well as the men’s 400-metre run.
There will also be finals in cycling, diving and gymnastics, among a number of other events.
Usain 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 became mandatory. He also holds the world record in the 4×100 metres relay. He is the reigning World and Olympic champion in these three events.
Bolt gained worldwide popularity for his double sprint victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in world record times. He later became the first man at the Olympic Games to win six gold medals for sprinting. He was the first to win consecutive Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles (2008 and 2012).
An eleven-time World Champion, he won consecutive World Championship 100 m, 200 m and 4 × 100 metres relay gold medals from 2009 to 2015, with the exception of a 100 m false start in 2011. He is the most successful athlete of the World Championships and was the first athlete to win three titles in both the 100 m and 200 m at the competition.
Bolt improved upon his first 100 m world record of 9.69 with 9.58 seconds in 2009 – the biggest improvement since the start of electronic timing. He has twice broken the 200 metres world record, setting 19.30 in 2008 and 19.19 in 2009. He has helped Jamaica to three 4 × 100 metres relay world records, with the current record being 36.84 seconds set in 2012.
Bolt’s most successful event is the 200 m, with two Olympic and four World titles. The 2008 Olympics was his international debut over 100 m; he had earlier won numerous 200 m medals (including 2007 World Championship silver) and holds the world under-20 and world under-18 records for the event.
His achievements in sprinting have earned him the media nickname “Lightning Bolt”, and his awards include the IAAF World Athlete of the Year, Track & Field Athlete of the Year, and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (three times). He is the highest paid athlete ever in track and field. Bolt has stated that he intends to retire from athletics after the 2017 World Championships.
The 100 metres, or 100-meter dash, is a sprint race in track and field competitions. The shortest common outdoor running distance, it is one of the most popular and prestigious events in the sport of athletics. It has been contested at the Summer Olympics since 1896 for men and since 1928 for women. The reigning 100 m Olympic champion is often named “the fastest runner in the world.” The World Championships 100 metres has been contested since 1983. Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are the reigning world and Olympic champions in the men’s and women’s 100 metres, respectively.
On an outdoor 400 metres running track, the 100 m is run on the home straight, with the start usually being set on an extension to make it a straight-line race. Runners begin in the starting blocks and the race begins when an official fires the starter’s pistol. Sprinters typically reach top speed after somewhere between 50–60 m. Their speed then slows towards the finish line.
The 10-second barrier has historically been a barometer of fast men’s performances, while the best female sprinters take eleven seconds or less to complete the race. The current men’s world record is 9.58 seconds, set by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt in 2009, while the women’s world record of 10.49 seconds set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 remains unbroken.
The 100 m (109.361 yards) emerged from the metrication of the 100 yards (91.44 m), a now defunct distance originally contested in English-speaking countries. The event is largely held outdoors as few indoor facilities have a 100 m straight.
US athletes have won the men’s Olympic 100 metres title more times than any other country, 17 out of the 27 times that it has been run.