What is the greatest number of runners ever to have gone below 10s in a single 100m race? Has there ever been an instance of all runners getting below 10s?

Just found that at the 2012 Olympics it would have been all eight except that Asafa Powell pulled a muscle half way through. So seven is the highest number I know of.

1 Answer 1


I went through the IAAF site and checked the list of senior outdoor results on 100 metres men over years from 2001 until 2018 (for example, see the results from 2016).

Considering those, I checked the worst position of a runner when running below 10 s, which means that that amount of people ran below that time. These are the results:

On 5 times, 6 men ran below 10 s (see the 6 before the city where the championship was held; it represents the position):

  • 9.98 +0.1 Tracey, Tyquendo JAM 9.98 6 21 JUL 2018
  • 9.96 +0.2 Ben Youssef MEITÉ 11 NOV 1986 CIV CIV 6 Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 14 AUG 2016
  • 9.98 +1.5 Richard THOMPSON 07 JUN 1985 TTO TTO 6 London (GBR) 27 JUL 2012
  • 9.97 +1.3 Justin GATLIN 10 FEB 1982 USA USA 6 Eugene (USA) 04 JUN 2011
  • 9.97 0.0 Michael FRATER 06 OCT 1982 JAM JAM 6 Beijing (CHN) 16 AUG 2008

This happened in these races (by order of representation of the result, with a link to the IAAF result page):


  • In 2012 Tyson Gay was 4th on the Olympic Games final with 9.80, only that he was later on disqualified. His result was making that race the fastest ever, since 7 runners ran below 10 s. After his disqualification, this race is in a draw position with the other three races, all of them with 6 men below 10 s.

  • In 1988 Seoul's World Championships four men ran below 10 s, only that Ben Johnson was later on disqualified. Being considered the dirtiest race in history, Wikipedia says for Linford Christie's result that This was the first time anyone had broken ten seconds and finished third.

Also, these are very fast races for more runners in the race:

  • 10.00 -0.5 Jimmy VICAUT 27 FEB 1992 FRA FRA 8 Beijing (CHN) 23 AUG 2015
  • 10.01 +0.6 Nesta CARTER 10 NOV 1985 JAM JAM 7 Bruxelles (BEL) 05 SEP 2014
  • 10.01 +1.3 Richard THOMPSON 07 JUN 1985 TTO TTO 7 Eugene (USA) 04 JUN 2011
  • 10.00 +0.9 Jaysuma SAIDY NDURE 01 JUL 1984 NOR NOR 7 Rieti (ITA) 29 AUG 2010
  • 10.00 +0.9 Marc BURNS 07 JAN 1983 TTO TTO 7 Berlin (GER) 16 AUG 2009
  • 10.00 +0.6 Kim COLLINS 05 APR 1976 SKN SKN 6 Athina (GRE) 22 AUG 2004

That is, in all of these, the result of the 7th runner was 10.00 (10.01 for 2011's result). Strangely enough, in Beijing 3 people ran on 10.00: 6th, 7th and 8th.

This happened in these races (by order of representation of the result, with a link to the IAAF result page):

  • Beijing 2015 (World Championships)
  • Eugene 2011 (link above) (Prefontaine Classic)
  • Bruxelles 2010 (Memorial Van Damme)
  • Rieti 2010
  • Berlin 2009 (World Championships)
  • Athina 2004 (Olympic Games) I am adding this since I find relevant that such a result happened years before the blooming of the Usain Bolt era

It is interesting to see how big was the impact of Usain Bolt: before his appearence, no more than 10 results would be below 10 s in a year. From his years, now the number is bigger than 50 even on odd years (that is, without World Championships nor Olympic Games).

I wonder if some open data source exists with all this data to do some mining, likewise for ATP & WTA)

  • 1
    Another race with 6 sub 10s - the final at the London Anniversary Games 21 Jul 2018. One guy ran 10.01 and came eighth!
    – Mick
    Jul 21, 2018 at 16:55
  • @Mick great one! Thanks a lot, I just appended it into the answer.
    – fedorqui
    Jul 25, 2018 at 11:01

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