The women’s world 100m record has stood for an incredible 28 years.
And, to be honest, the pretenders have hardly made an indent.
As the cream of the current sprint generation line up for their shot an Olympic gold in Rio this week, Florence Griffith-Joyner’s table-setting mark of 10.49 seconds still looks a long way off.
Here are the top 5 fastest times in history.
1 — Florence Griffith Joyner — 10.49 — US Olympic Trials quarter-final 1988
Flo-Jo stunned the athletics world by improving by .5 of a second from one run to the next in setting a new world record that no-one has come close to toppling 28 years on. The time made her an overwhelming favourite for Seoul Olympics gold and she duely delivered in the second fastest time ever (10.54). Flo-Jo — famed for her long fingernails, promptly retired and was dogged by allegations of drug use right up until her untimely death in 1998.
2 — Carmelita Jeter — 10.64 — Shanghai Grand Prix 2009
The American star found her best form at age 30 in 2009, first running 10.67 in Greece and then backing it up shortly afterwards with her incredible run in the Shanghai Grand Prix event. She also won the world title in 2011 in 10.90 and was the silver medallist in London behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 10.75.
3- Marion Jones — 10.65 — Johannesburg 1998
Jones looked on course to become the greatest of all time until drug revelations and subsequent jail time ruined her career. The two-time world 100m champion effectively had all her achievements from 2000 — including numerous Sydney Olympic medals — taken away from her. She still holds such a lofty position on this list courtesy of a run in Johannesburg in 1998. Just watching the video on YouTube should remind you just how dominant she once was.
4- Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — 10.70 – Jamaican Olympic qualifiers 2012
The undoubted female sprinting star of the last eight years, Fraser-Price is lining up for her third consecutive Olympic gold in Rio. The 29-year-old Jamaican burst on to the scene in Beijing in 2008, winning gold in 10.78. Four years later in London she won gold in 10.75. Throw in three world titles and it’s been quite the ride. Her fastest time came on home soil at the 2012 national championships.
5- Christine Arron — 10.73 – European Championship final 1998
The Frenchwoman never really fulfilled her potential on the international stage, winning only one Olympic medal (and that was in a relay) from three Games appearances. Her career had two peaks. The first was when she won the European title in 1998 in blistering fashion. And then seven years later she ran third at the 2005 world championship when race favourite. She has enjoyed plenty of relay success, most notably in Paris at the 2003 world championships when she anchored a stunning win.
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