9.74 seconds and counting (down): a record falls again

Asafa Powell of Jamaica currently ranks as "the world's fastest human," a title traditionally bestowed upon the male runner with the lowest time in the premier event in track and field: the 100-meter dash. Powell first claimed the honor in 2005, when he lopped two- hundredths of a second off the world record, and has held it since. Early last month, he broke the mark again at a meet in Rieti, Italy. There, he lowered it by another three- hundredths of a second, only the third time the mark has been bettered by that much or more since the sport adopted electronic timing in the 1960s. The last 10 men to break the 100-meter record, the country each represented, the year in which he set the record, and his time in seconds:

  • Jim Hines, US (1968) 9.95
  • Calvin Smith, US (1983) 9.93
  • Carl Lewis, US (1988) 9.92
  • Leroy Burrell, US (1991) 9.90
  • Carl Lewis, US (1991) 9.86
  • Leroy Burrell, US (1994) 9.85
  • Donovan Bailey, Canada (1996) 9.84
  • Maurice Greene, US (1999) 9.79
  • Asafa Powell, Jamaica (2005) 9.77
  • Asafa Powell, Jamaica (2007) 9.74

– Associated Press

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