On May 3, 2008, relatively unknown Jamaican Usain Bolt ran the 100m in 9.76s with a 1.8m/s tailwind, only just missing the 100m World Record of 9.74s set by compatriot Asafa Powell in Rieti on September 9, 2007.
It would prove to be a sign of things to come, because on May 31, 2008, at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York City, the Lightning Bolt claimed the most fabled record in athletics for the first time, setting a World Record time of 9.72s with a 1.7m/s tailwind.
2 months and 16 days later, Bolt ran 9.69s in the 100m Final of the Beijing Olympic Games, epically smashing his own World Record with the entire universe watching on, a feat made even more impressive by the fact that there was no favourable wind inside the Bird’s Nest, and he spent the last 99m of the race celebrating to deny himself a realistic chance to set a time below 9.6 seconds.
And just for shits and giggles, 4 days later Bolt won another Gold Medal and set the 200 metre World Record, which he still holds to this day.
Then, exactly one year after running 9.69s in Beijing, Bolt set the current World Record time of 9.58s, a time so unthinkably quick that he made people driving on the Autobahn crap themselves at the speeds he was reaching.
In that same race, Tyson Gay ran 9.71s, which stands as the 6th-fastest time in history….
He still got windburn from Bolt, who recorded the biggest improvement (0.11s) to the 100m World Record since the start of electronic timing in 1977.
Assuming nobody runs 9.57s between now and the end of February 2023, Bolt will surpass American legend Jim Hines for the longest tenure as the 100m World Record holder, with Hines holding the official World Record for 14 years, 8 months and 19 days thanks to breaking the historic 10-second barrier (9.95s) at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, which lasted until Calvin Smith ran 9.93s on July 3, 1983.
All power to the Lightning Bolt!