Usain Bolt, one of the fastest people alive, retired in 2017 after losing two world championships. When asked about his records being broken in the future, he stated that he would not want them gone. “I want my kids to see my records when they’re 15 and 20 and I can say ‘you see, I’m still the best,” Bolt said.
That leaves us with a conundrum. There are many athletes out there, but are any of them worthy of replacing Bolt? Let’s meet the contenders.
The American sprinter specialized in 100m races, as well as 200m ones, Justin Gatlin is one of the persons on the planet capable of replicating some of Bolt’s feats. Though he was banned from the track a few times for using banned substances, he did manage to win five Olympic medals. His personal best for 100m is 9.74, and 19.57 for 200m.
The reason he could be the one to beat Bolt is the 2017 IAAF World Championship 100m Men’s, where he already defeated the legend. However, if Gatlin is going to exceed the expectations of the fans and limits set by Bolt, he needs to hurry as he is 37 years old. Despite the trend across sports to keep the veterans for a long time, we are talking about the final stretch of the race.
Another sprinter that was near the 2017 championship win while racing against Bolt and Gatlin was Christian Coleman, who finished 100m in Doha in 2019 in 9.76 seconds, taking the gold. Like Gatlin, the athlete has faced a few penalties and raised eyebrows regarding his drug tests and his skipping some of them. Coleman is much younger than Gatlin, making him the perfect candidate for the next fastest man alive.
The last and least likely runner to become the next Usain Bolt out of all mentioned in this piece is Akani Simbine. While the South African has indeed achieved several victories and notable results throughout his career, there are no Olympic medals in his resume, at least not yet. Furthermore, the runner will have to improve his personal records on the 100m and 200m races, as they are currently 9.89 and 19.95, respectively.
There is still time for the new stars to shine, but, as it stands, there will be no one quite like Usain Bolt. Coleman and Gatlin did push the legend to his limits, which made him retire, but he still holds records and standards runners from all over the world can only dream of achieving. Perhaps, his dream of showing his children that his best is still beyond reproach will come true.