Top 10 Fastest Runners In The World (2022 Update)

The incredibility of track and field action, notably racing, can be seen in the thrills and emotions invoked as we watch the contenders for the fastest runners in the world do what they do best.

This high-octane and exhilarating activity attracts swarms of fans who watch with much angst, zeal, and excitement to see records broken and created. 

The excitement of racing further moves fans’ attention to the very athletics vying for the most coveted title of the fastest man in the world.

With the just concluded 2022 Olympics, many wonder how much has changed in the rankings.

This article reveals just how much has changed in the recent ranking of the fastest sprinter in the world.

The criteria for the ranking are entirely based on the fastest time an athlete sprints in the 100 m race.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

Who are the Fastest Runners in the World?

10. Nesta Carter

Now leading a life far from the tracks, Nesta Carter as a terrific runner, remains intact.

The Jamaican sprinter earned his place on the list of fastest sprinters of all time after he recorded a sprint of 100 m in 9.78 seconds in August 2010.

After being catapulted to the notable achievements of being among the world’s fastest men, Carter continued to put up brimming performances throughout his career.

He culminated in 3 World Championships Gold medals in the 4 x 100 m relay as well as a silver and bronze medal.

Carter also has an Olympic Gold medal, which he clinched at the 2012 London Olympics in the 4 x 100 m relay.

In 2017 Carter and his relay teammates were stripped of their 2008 Beijing Olympics 4 x 100m Gold medal following doping sanctions.

9. Ferdinand Omanyala

A new “kid” on the block, the 26-year-old sprinter secured his place in the eminent list of fastest sprinters when he sprinted 100 m in 9.77 seconds in September 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, Nairobi, Kenya.

The feat initially solidified his place as the 8th fastest man. Still, after another stunning performance from USA sprinter Trayvon Bromell, Ferdinand Omanyala had to settle for 9th place in the prestigious rankings.

Since his astounding performance in September 2021, Ferdinand Omanyala has been in the best form of his career.

The Kenya-born sprinter is currently the fastest African man, holding the 100 m record.

In 2022, he won his first international medal when he claimed Gold at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. 

8. Fred Kerley

The latest entry into the list of fastest runners in the world, Fred Kerley, entered the list in June 2022 after sprinting 100 m in 9.76 seconds.

Kerley, known in the athletics circles for competing in 400 m distance races, has recently been a regular face in 100 m and 200 m sprints.

He lay claims to numerous laurels, including a silver medal in 100 m at the Tokyo 2022 Olympics Games, two World Championships Gold medals in the 4 x 100 m relay, and most recently, the 100 m, which he clinched in 2022.

Kerley also lays claims to one silver and bronze World Championships medal and an indoor World Championships silver medal.

7. Trayvon Bromell

Trayvon Brommell ties for sixth place alongside Fred Kerley and Christian Coleman.

Long before his thrilling exploits in his professional career, Trayvon Bromell had been up to incredible feats in his junior career.

He held the junior world record after he became the first junior athlete to break the 100 m barriers, a feat he accomplished in 9.97 seconds.

Bromell is a two-time World Championships bronze medalist and a one-time World Indoor championship bronze medalist.

In September 2021, at the Kip Keino Classic in Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, Nairobi, he sprinted 100 m in 9.76 seconds to shoot himself into the list of fastest sprinters of all time.

He also displaced Kenya runner Ferdinand Omanyala for the first position at the Kip Keino Classic.

6. Christian Coleman

Few athletes have dominated track and field events the way Christian Coleman has.

The American star has, on numerous occasions, shown just how fast he is, and his thrilling performances have earned him a spot on the list.

Coleman entered the top-6 in September 2019 after he clinched Gold in the 100 m sprint at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha. 

Coleman, the World Indoor record holder for 60 m sprints, holds notable feats, such as being a two-time World Championships Gold medalist and a three-time World Championships Silver medalist.

The star athlete completed the race in a 9.76 record. He also won the 100 m at the 2018 Diamond League.

5. Justin Gatlin

When Justin Gatlin ruled the tracks, he was unstoppable. The racing sensation had an incredible career that only a few have surpassed.

Of the numerous heart-stopping performances Gatlin pulled, the performance that earned him a place on the rankings was his 100 m sprint at the Diamond League in Doha in 2015.

Gatlin completed the sprint in 9.74 seconds, his best in the 100 m sprint.

Notable achievements from the esteemed runner include his 2004 Athens Olympics Gold medal in the 100 m sprint.

Gatlin is a two-time Olympics Silver medalist, a two-time Olympics Bronze medalist, a four-time World Championships Gold medalist, and an eight-time World Championships Silver medalist.

He also won the Diamond League in three successive years. Gatlin, however, struggled with bans over the use of drugs in his career.

4. Asafa Powell

One of the fastest athletes the world has ever seen, the Jamaican athlete sprints at lightning speed on the tracks.

On two occasions, Powell broke the 10 seconds mark in the 100 m sprint.

However, his performance in 2008, where he sprinted 100 m in 9.72, his personal best in the 100 m sprint, ranks him as the fourth fastest man in the world.

The talented runner has broken the 10 seconds barrier in the 100 m sprint on a record 97 occasions.

Other impressive achievements Powell owns include his 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Gold medal on the 4 x 100 m relay, his two Gold, one Silver, and two Bronze World Championships medals, 5 World Athletics Final medals, 2 Commonwealth Games medals, and two Diamond League 100 m Gold medals.

3. Yohan Blake 

Jamaican star athlete Yohan Blake ranks top-3 on the list, thanks to his 2012 100 m sprint in 9.69 seconds at the Athletissima Diamond League meet.

Blake has also pulled other amazing performances that broke the 10 seconds barrier.

However, his personal best of 9.69 seconds ties him with American athlete Tyson Gay for the second spot on the world rankings.

Blake is a two-time Olympics Gold medalist and a two-time Olympics Silver medalist.

He has also won Gold on two occasions, Silver once at the World Championships, and Bronze twice at the Commonwealth Games.

2. Tyson Gay

The indisputable holder of the esteemed title of the fastest man in the United States holds the record for being the second fastest worldwide.

He jointly holds the feat with Jamaican athlete Yohan Blake.

In September 2009, at the Shanghai Golden Grandprix, Tyson Gay sprinted 100 m in 9.69 seconds, equaling Usain Bolt’s old record, to solidify his place as the second fastest 100 m.

Gay has pulled other scintillating sprints that have broken the 10 seconds barrier but his personal best of 9.69 seconds, the fastest ever recorded for an American athlete, lands him in second place.

Tyson Gay is a three-time World Championships Gold medalist, a two-time IAAF Continental Cup Gold medalist, and has won the Diamond League 100 m race once. 

1. Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt at Rio de Janeiro in 2016
(c) Wikimedia

The 8-time Olympics Gold medalist needs no introduction, as his undisputed title as the fastest man in the world remains intact, despite tiring the tracks years ago.

Known by his moniker Lighting Bolt, no athlete dared to match his speed while he carried out his business on the tracks.

Years after retiring from racing, Bolt still holds multiple world records, including the record for the fastest 100 m.

Usain Bolt cemented his place as the fastest runner in the world with his astounding personal best of sprinting 100 m in 9.58 seconds in August 2009 at the World Championships in Berlin.

That jaw-dropping performance earned him the first 11 Gold medals at the World Championships.

His 9.63 seconds and 9.69 seconds sprints at the 2012 London and 2008 Beijing Olympics ranks as the second and third, respectively, fastest time run by an athlete in the world.

Wrap Up 

The list of the top 10 fastest men in the world was compiled based on the fastest time run by athletes in 100 m sprints as of September 2022.

The ranking is subject to changes as more athletes pull more incredible performances.

Typically the title is given to the reigning Olympics 100 m Gold medalist or the reigning World Championship 100 m Gold medalist.

However, the criteria upon which the list is based consider the fastest time an athlete completes the 100 m sprint.

Further Reading:
Top 20 Hardest Sports In The World Ranked By Difficulty

Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia