30 Jamaican Men Who Ran the 100 Meters in Under 10 Seconds

A review of the results of World Senior Outdoor Men’s 100-meter competitions recorded between the years 1989 and 2023, show that 30 male athletes competing for Jamaica have run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds. The fastest time recorded during that period was achieved by sprint legend Usain Bolt on 16 August 2009 in Berlin.

20th-century Jamaican Male Sprinters

The first Jamaican man to run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds was Raymond Stewart. He was born in Kingston in 1965 and attended Camperdown High School and was coached by Glen Mills. After high school, he attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. On May 20, 1989, he became the first Jamaican man to break the 10-second barrier, clocking 9.97 seconds at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. This made him the top-ranked 100-meter athlete in 1989 and the first Jamaican to officially break the event record. Stewart again broke the record in 1991 with a personal best time of 9.96 seconds at the World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. While this time broke the national record, it was only sufficient for Stewart to attain sixth place as two continental records and a world record were broken in the competition. He competed in his third consecutive Olympic 100-meter final in 1992, the first man to do so. He also reached the World Championship finals in the 100 meters in 1993 and 1995 but did not win any medals. In 1996, he attended his last Olympic Games. During his career of nearly two decades, Stewart competed at four Olympics and six World Championships and won the 100-meter event at Jamaica’s national championships seven times. After retiring from competition, he coached many sprint athletes, including Jerome Young.

Percival Spencer broke the time barrier on June 19, 1997, with a time of 9.98 seconds. He was born in 1975 and specialized in the 100 and 200-meter events. He attended Texas Christian University. In 1997.  He achieved his personal best time in the 100 meters in Kingston, running the distance in 9.98 seconds. He won both the 100-meter and 200-meter events at Western Athletic Conference track and field championships in that year. He was the 100-meter Jamaica National Champion in 1997. Spencer competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1997 World Championships in Athletics.

First in the 21st century

Jamaica had to wait until 2008 to see another 100-meter champion and “fastest man in the world.” Asafa Powell, whose record run of 9.72 seconds held until Usain Bolt’s legendary 9.58-second achievement in 2009. Powell was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, in 1982. During his career, he established a world record in the 100 meters twice – 9.77 seconds in 2005 and 9.74 seconds in 2008. He has consistently run the 100 meters under 10 seconds in competition, with a personal best time of 9.72 seconds, which is ranked fourth on the men’s 100-meter all-time list. He holds the world record in the 100-yard dash, 9.09 seconds, set in 2010 in the Czech Republic. He competed in the 100 meters at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympics. In 2009, he won a bronze medal in the 100 meters and a gold in the relay. He is a five-time winner at the IAAF World Athletics Final and formerly held the 100-meter record in the event.

The Five Fastest Times

The five fastest times recorded by Jamaican men in the 100 meters were achieved by Usain Bolt at 9.58 seconds in 2009, Yohan Blake at 9.69 seconds in 2012, Asafa Powell in 2008 at 9.72 seconds, Nesta Carter in 2010 at 9.78 seconds, and Steve Mullings with 9.80 seconds in 2011. Notable among the athletes is Usain Bolt, widely considered the greatest sprint athlete of all time and the most-recognized athlete in the world. In addition to holding the record in the 100 meters, Bolt is also the world record holder in the 200 meters and the 4×100-meter relay. Bolt won eight Olympic gold medals and is the only sprinter to win Olympic gold in the 100-meter and 200-meter events at three consecutive Games. He became world-famous when he achieved a double sprint victory with world record times at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He is an 11-time World Champion and the first athlete to win four World Titles in the 200 meters.

List of Runners Achieving Sub-10-second Times by Year

1989 – Raymond Stewart

1991 –  Raymond Stewart

1997 –  Percival Spencer

2008 – Asafa Powell

2009 – Usain Bolt, Lerone Clarke

2010 – Nesta Carter, Mario Forsythe

2011  – Steve Mullings, Michael Frater

2012 – Yohan Blake

2013 – Nickel Ashmeade

2014 – Kemarley Brown

2015- Andrew Fisher, Kemar Bailey-Cole

2016 – Omar Mcleod, Senoj-Jay Givans

2017 – Odean Skeen, Julian Forte

2018 – Andre Ewers, Tyquendo Tracey

2022 – Davonte Burnett, Oblique Seville

2023 – Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, Ackeem Blake, Kishane Thompson, Kadrian Goldson, Rohan Watson, Ryiem Forde, and Oblique Seville

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