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Needs no introduction. Any amount of praise for the track and field legend, Usain Bolt, will fall short when measured against his towering achievements. Standing alone and aloft on the summit, he dominates both the 100m and 200m World Records with his unmatched timings- 9.58 and 19.19, respectively. And in the past 15 years, his legacy has remained untouched, despite eminent athletes rising to the limelight. However, many of them, namely Noah Lyles, Christain Coleman, and Fred Kerley have recently manifested their grandiose ambitions to seize the fastest man’s titles.

The latest track and field result boards are an infallible testament that Lyles, Coleman, and Kerley are world-class runners with stellar timings. But, the question remains- are they good enough to surpass Bolt’s records? Well, they sure think they can.

All eyes fixated on Usain Bolts’s records

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At a juncture when the Paris Olympics is just around the corner, Noah Lyles had recently come out in the open and announced that he is surely looking to beat the records of ‘the world’s best’. Exuding immense confidence, he remarked on Bolt  by saying, ‘He was the fastest man ever to do it and soon, it’ll be me.’  

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Another one of the community’s fleet-footed sprinters, Christain Coleman has also displayed a similar aspiration. Not more than a few months back, he commented, ‘9.58 is obviously an extraordinary time but honestly I feel like it’s a lot of guys who are competing today who are not that far off if the track gods see fit for it to happen.’ 

Jumping on the bandwagon, American athlete Fred Kerley also added his take to this ongoing debate. ‘World record next time I touch the 100m’ he captioned a recent X post, thereby publicizing that he is vying for ultimate glory and nothing less than that.

Never say never they say; thus these pro runners will indeed be ones to look out for in the approaching competitions. But, when bracketed with Bolt, do fans see them in the same league? Especially, given a recent Reddit discussion, where fans have exchanged views on, ‘Is Usain Bolt just a genetic anomaly?’

Usain Bolt’s oh-so-marvelous record: A rare athletic gift?

@r/trackandfield initiated a Reddit discussion, stressing that despite technological and medicinal advancements, contemporary athletes are not even close to touching Bolt’s record. They posed the question, ‘Was Bolt just this much of a genetic outlier?’ as ‘There’s 4 billion men on Earth. Surely, out of odds, there has to be someone out there that should be able to rival Bolt,’ starting an open-ended chat.

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To this, one of the fans reacted by pointing out the sport’s discernable gap. They said, ‘It is uncommon for economic reasons for people to pursue the highest level of athletics.’ And those who do, have to battle the high injury rates. Therefore, they maintained that athletic skill was normally distributed. But, ‘it’s not surprising that there are untouchable outliers,’ 

Bracketing all the athletes together, another fan added, ‘They’re asking if he’s a genetic anomaly compared to all the other pro sprinters ever, who are still genetic anomalies compared to regular people.’ 

A third person then surfaced with a technical aspect. They claimed that ‘Bolt’s stride length was the main differentiator.’ And backed it up by mentioning that in the last 100 WR, Bolt took an average of 3.91 fewer steps than the rest who sprinted. Thus, his stride difference was the x-factor, enabling him to cover more track distance.

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Putting forth another statistical viewpoint, a fan cited Yohan Blake’s 9.69- 100m timing and mentioned the wind aspect. They claimed that this performance was almost equal to Bolt’s WR ‘if he had a +1.5-2.0 meters per second wind.’

It is evident. The stakes are insanely high and the fans will need a concrete showdown for them to be convinced that Bolt’s numbers can be topped. However, contemporary athletes have shown great mettle in their recent sprints. Thus, the possibility is not completely deniable.