Could Olympics Legend Usain Bolt Have Run Faster in His Career?

Published 07/13/2021, 11:07 AM EDT
BEIJING – AUGUST 20: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the world record with a time of 19.30 to win the gold medal in the Men’s 200m Final at the National Stadium during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)


Usain Bolt came, saw, and conquered. Throughout his dominant career at the Olympics, no athlete came close to him in terms of speed, and as far as competition was concerned, the gold medal was always reserved. Setting new world records in the 100m and 200m sprint races, Bolt ensured that the gold medal came to Jamaica for three consecutive editions of the Olympics. 

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Winning big at Beijing (2008), London (2012), and Rio (2016), he left his permanent mark on the sport. All aspects considered, Usain Bolt is the fastest person ever recorded. In his prime, he was able to reach a top speed of 43.99 Kilometers per hour, which is 27.33 miles per hour. 

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after winning gold in the Men’s 200m Final on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

This statistic was measured in 2011, and that number could be even higher if the 2009 world record 100m run was recorded. Now that he has retired with his records still intact to this day, the question arises- Could Usain Bolt have run faster? 

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Bolt was already smashing records and bagging medals at the Olympics, but since the human body is physically capable of going 40 mph, Bolt may have been able to turn it up a notch. 

Running shoe technology is changing the face of races

Obviously, speed and acceleration depend on muscle fiber contractions and their working so it may not have been physically possible for Bolt to up the ante. However, there could have been something that could have aided him in doing that. 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 17: Andre de Grasse of Canada (L) and Usain Bolt of Jamaica (C) react as they compete in the Men’s 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Running shoe technology has attracted the world’s attention as Nike keeps making leaps and bounds in progress. The Vaporfly and such shoes and designed to reduced impact shock and improve the running economy of athletes. This means that more energy is returned to the athlete while running than is lost to the ground. 

With so many tweaks such as sole technology and other scientifically designed modifications, running shoes have actually turned out to play a huge part in today’s races. One can only imagine how much faster Usain Bolt could have run with this technology at his disposal. 

DIVE DEEPER

How Many mph Can Olympics Legend Usain Bolt Run?

18 days ago

Usain Bolt claims he could have run faster with ‘Super spikes’

Speaking to The Guardian, Bolt himself weighed in on this topic. When asked if someone broke his record with the aid of ‘super spikes’, he was divided on his feelings. 

“How can I argue if World Athletics decide that it’s legal? I can’t do anything about it. The rules are the rules. I don’t think I’ll be fully happy, but it’s just one of those things,” Bolt said.

BEIJING – AUGUST 20: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the world record with a time of 19.30 to win the gold medal in the Men’s 200m Final ahead of Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles Brian Dzingai of Zimbabwe and Shawn Crawford of the United States at the National Stadium during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The Jamaican also went on to claim that if he had those ‘super spikes’ on him, the world record would be a lot faster. 

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“We have guessed and we have talked about it, but I don’t know for sure. But definitely much faster. Below 9.5 seconds for sure. Without a doubt.”

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 14: Usain Bolt of Jamaica points to the sky before winning the Men’s 100 meter final on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

If someone does break his record eventually, it will be aided by super spikes. However, Bolt will always be seen as the fastest man ever recorded in history and with or without super spikes, he sure was fast. 

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Luke Dias

1476 articles

Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.

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