Anyone can run, but not everyone can run as fast as Olympic champion sprinters. The female category is as famous as the male counterpart, with record-breaking titles for the 100-meter sprint dash. Several contenders from across the world have marked their names on this phenomenal sport.
In track and field, sprint requires skill, agility, and endurance to run fast. Athletes need to accelerate to the finish line in order to get a title. Some of the popular names in this sport include Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis, and Michael Johnson.
If you’re wondering who the fastest female track sprinters of all time are, here’s a list of the five winners for the 100-meter dash in the Olympics. Get to know their speed, the countries they represent, and the awards they’ve received throughout their careers.
Olympic Sprint Events
In the Olympics, there are numerous sprint events for the female category. However, the 100-meter event is undeniably the most famous, as it determines who can run the fastest. For experts, this event is considered the purest and simplest event, without the need for strategizing.
Other sprint events in the Olympics include the 200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter, 1500-meter, 5000-meter, and 10,000-meter tracks. These middle and long-distance events determine the speed of the athletes, their endurance, and running efficiency in crescent-shaped lanes.
The 100-meter dash event is completed within ten seconds or less. Meanwhile, the longest sprint event of 10,000 meters can be completed within less than 30 minutes.
Fastest Female Track Sprinters
These five female athletes have the record-breaking sprint finishes of all time.
Florence Griffith Joyner
The world’s best record for the fastest female sprint belongs to Olympic champion Florence Griffith Joyner, known as ‘Flo-Jo’. In the 1988 Olympics trial, the American sprinter set the world record in the 100-meter dash, with 10.49 seconds.
Griffith beat the mark by 0.27 seconds, improving her best by more than a second. During the Olympics in Seoul, she captured three gold medals and a silver for the 4×400-meter relay. In the same year, Flo-Jo received the Sullivan Award as America’s top amateur performer.
The Olympic champion remained in the history of track and field, with her record-breaking sprint speed. She started training at the age of seven when chasing jackrabbits helped to increase her speed. Griffith gained popularity not only for her skill but also for her eye-catching racing suits.
Another famous track sprinter is a retired American athlete Carmelita Jeter and 2011 IAAF World Champion in the 100-meter dash. The three-time Olympic medalist has a personal best time of 10.64 seconds at the London Olympics 2012. She finished second after Fraser-Pryce.
With her talent and skill, Jeter bagged a number of awards including the Los Angeles Sports Woman of the Year in 2012 and the Jesse Owens Award for the highest accolade in Track and Field. The USA Track & Field also awarded her as the Most Outstanding US Female Track and Field Athlete.
The name Marion Jones became huge at the 2000 Olympic Games when she took home five track and field medals at a single Olympics. The Belizean-American athlete has a personal record of 10.65 seconds in the 100-meter sprint event in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
Jones bagged a number of awards including the Best Female Track Athlete ESPY Award, Glamour Woman of the Year Award, and Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year (2000). However, in 2007, she admitted to using banned substances and returned the medals.
The reigning 100-meter dash champion for both the Olympics and the world championships is 33-year-old Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. With her best record of 10.71 seconds, she claimed her fourth world championship title and eighth world title overall.
The track sprinter champion dominated the Olympics with a trademark style. The Jamaican athlete holds the record as the first Caribbean woman to win gold in the 100-meter Olympics event. In the recent World Athletics Championships in Doha, she won the gold medal, while sporting a unicorn hair color.
Some of her awards include the Best Female Athlete in 2019 and Sportswoman of the Year by RJGLEANER Foundation.
Elaine Thompson is another Jamaican athlete who rose to prominence for her double gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events in the 2016 Summer Olympics. The first Olympian to do this was Griffith at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.
Thompson’s 100-meter best record time is 10.71 seconds. However, she was pulled from the remainder of the IAAF World Athletic Championship due to an existing injury. She was awarded Chancellor’s Medal in 2019 for her outstanding athletic performance.
The sporting events of track and field are prestigious and only the best athletes get the crown for their phenomenal performances.
These are the top five female track sprinters of all time, with record-breaking times for the 100-meter sprint event.