How Fast is Usain Bolt

Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by Andrew Pirie

Introduction: What is Usain Bolt’s, Top Speed?

This article will discuss Usain Bolt,’s, Top Speed. We will be drawing on research from several sources to come up with an answer to this question.

And will also explore sub-questions that may be of interest to the reader. We will also compare Usain Bolt’s top speed to various members of the animal kingdom.

What is Usain Bolt’s top speed mph?

44.64 km/h-27.8mph

The fastest human footspeed on record is 44.64 km/h(12.4 m/s or 27.8 mph), seen during the final 100 meters sprint of the World Championships in Berlin on 16 August 2009 by Usain Bolt’s average speed between the 60th and the 80th meter, which he covered in 1.61 seconds.

According to famed writer and coach Jimson Lee at, Usain Bolt’s top speed is between 60–70m, which seems to be the most accurate measurement.

[bctt tweet=” According to famed writer and coach Jimson Lee at Usain bolt top speed between 60–70m marks. Which seems to be the most accurate measurement.” username=”]

Usain Bolt Top Speed
Usain Bolt Top Speed 100m

“According to this data, and hit his peak speed at 50m, and he then maintained this to 80m, running at about 44 km/hour.”

And the fact that he has retained both 100m and 200m golds in the Olympics cements him as a legend, a first of his kind on the track.

What would happen if Usain Bolt ran at his top speed into you?

His full weight is in your face. You’re also unprotected.

You both risk severe concussion and other injuries depending on the impact site, and you will fall, which might kill you.

You might escape unscathed, but it’s improbable.

Usain Bolt top speed compared to animals

Usain Bolt Top Speed
Usain Bolt Top Speed

Is Usain Bolt’s top speed Faster than a Cheetah?

Usain Bolt Top Speed
Usain Bolt Top Speed


  • Bolt will lose as a cheetah ran 100 meters in 5.95 seconds, but Bolt ran 100 meters in 9.58 seconds.
  • Bolt ran 200 meters in 19.19 seconds, while a cheetah could sprint that distance in 6.9 seconds.


No. Usain Bolt’s top speed seems to be about 38km/h vs. a cheetah’s 112-120. The cheetah can also accelerate to 100km/h in about three seconds, meaning that its average even during that initial acceleration is greater than Usain Bolt’s top speed.

That’s not to disrespect Mr. Bolt for his superb accomplishments, but a human is still a human, and cheetahs are in an entirely different league.

Usain Bolt Top Speed
Usain Bolt Top Speed


But if a Greyhound runs with Bolt in a 100-meter dash,

Greyhound will beat the Bolt flat as Greyhound runs 100 meters in a new record of 5.33 seconds… Awesome.


Can an average male gorilla run (on all fours) faster than Usain Bolt?

T cannot, but it will be close. A gorilla’s top speed is 25 MPH. Usain Bolt’s top speed is 27 MPH. If Bolt trips, however, while the gorilla is chasing him, then he’s in a world of trouble. Also, Bolt better not slow down if he knows what’s good for him.

Of course, all of this is assuming Bolt is in flat terrain with no obstacles to hinder you and not in a tropical rainforest where they usually stay :-)


What would happen if a tiger chases Usain Bolt?

I think it would be fun to use a scientific approach to this question.

So this is the initial scenario:

Bolt is happily walking across the grassland, thinking about when he will break his record again.

Suddenly he feels observed, turns back, and begins to peer at a tuft of grass not far away.

There, crouched, lies Billy the Bengal tiger. Billy is visible, angry, and hungry.

Usain Bolt Top Speed
Usain Bolt Top Speed

Usain knows exactly what he should not do, but he is too confident in his legs, and therefore he immediately starts running in the opposite direction.

Bad move?

Simultaneously, Billy, who was looking forward to that mistake, started galloping to pursue his new victim.

Let’s pause here and learn some useful data:



Usain Bolt Top Speed
Usain Bolt Top Speed
  • Maximum speed: 48–64 Km/h. Let’s pick an average of 56 Km/h[1](15.56 m/s)
  • Average acceleration: 4.32 m/s2
  • Distance covered in a sprint: 32 m (this may be surprising, but Billy is an ambush hunter; hence he generally sprints in short bursts)
  • Bonus distance: 10 m (final leap)

Usain Bolt Top Speed:

Usain Bolt Top Speed
  • Average speed: 37 Km/h (10.28 m/s)[3]. We will assume that he was in great shape that day.
  • Average acceleration: 3.09 m/s2
  • Distance covered in a sprint: Undefined and irrelevant. He can certainly sprint for way more distance than Billy.


For simplicity, we will consider Billy’s acceleration constant until the maximum speed is reached, and we will pretend that the movement is along a straight path. We will also ignore air friction and other random variables.

However, we set these rules for both competitors, so the final result’s impact should be minimal.

Now, since you have not specified an initial distance between the two runners, we can change the question to:

How far away from Billy must Bolt be in order not to become mincemeat?

and can solve this problem through the equations of motion


Specifically, Billy’s motion can be considered as a combination of two phases:

  • the initial phase of uniformly accelerated motion
  • the second phase of constant velocity motion.


How long do both phases last, and how much is the total distance covered?

For the initial phase, and can obtain time through this formula:


  • t – t0 is the time interval
  • V0 is the initial velocity
  • V is the final velocity
  • a is the acceleration

We can replace the variables with their respective values:

Almost 3.6 seconds.

And the distance is defined by this formula:

For the second phase, we already know the distance covered (32 m), and to obtain the time, we just divide the distance by velocity (15.56 m/s), obtaining about 2 seconds.

We can conclude that Billy will cover a distance of 70 meters (28 + 32 + 10) within 5.6 seconds (3.6 + 2).

Now the next question is: how far will Bolt travel at that same time?

Needless to say, we all hope he covers a distance greater than 70 meters, otherwise…

Usain Bolt Top Speed
Usain Bolt Top Speed

(sorry, I couldn’t resist)

However, we can define how far Bolt should be from Billy, in the beginning, to be in a safe zone after the chase.

As Bolt’s sprint would be more irregular, with continuous accelerations and decelerations, we can consider it as constant velocity motion using an average value among all his performances (10.28 m/s). So we would use the following formula:

We need the final position to be 70 meters, and we must find the initial position, so:

from which we obtain S0 = ~ 13 meters.

Ultimately, Bolt better be more than 13 meters away from Billy if he doesn’t want to become his lunch.

It’s also interesting to note that this safety distance would be around 23 meters for a standard person.



In Conclusion, we have noted that Usain Bolt’s top speed of 44.64km/h or  27.8 mp/h. Faster than any other human has ever reached. 

When it comes to racing against Animals and would badly beat Bolt and an easy meal for a Cheetah, Grey Hound, or Cheetah, he would have a chance escaping from a Gorilla just about as long as it was on flat terrain. An average human would end up as a meal for a Gorilla.


His journey started with a bet over free lunch

Twelve-year-old Bolt and his friend Ricardo Geddes argued over who was the quickest runner. A sprint for free lunch settled the bet. Bolt won. Reverend Nugent, a local priest, overheard them and told Bolt if he could defeat Ricardo, he could beat anyone. Sprinting was his introduction.

Other intriguing facts-

He played cricket and football as a kid, hitting Gayle and Yuvraj for sixes and bowling Gayle out!


  • He is considered unusually tall for a sprinter at 6’5, and he has scoliosis, i.e., a spine bent abnormally, yet he has won 8 gold medals at the Olympics!
  • He has run 100m in less than 9 seconds. In the relay split in London, this was in the men’s 4×100 meter final, which was 8.70 seconds!
  • It is a misconception that he is a slow starter. In his 100-meter world record in Beijing, he covered the first 60 m in 6.29 s, which is quicker than the current world record over that distance. Link



  • He is involved in a lot of philanthropy, supports Kenya’s wildlife conservation, and his Foundation helps local youngsters in sports.
  • His sponsorship deal with Puma ensures that every year they send sporting equipment to his high school.
  • His ads are filmed in Jamaica by a Jamaican production crew to boost local enterprise and gain exposure.

This ‘lightning bolt’ is truly a gentle giant!


World’s Fastest Man tests positive for Covid-19.

August 25, 2020

Usain Bolt self-isolates following the Covid-19 test – days after celebrating his 34th birthday at a party with no masks or social distancing in Jamaica ‘attended by guests including England star Raheem Sterling.’

  • Jamaican radio says Bolt will self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus.
  • Reports say the 34-year-old received a positive result on Sunday after taking the test a few days ago. 
  • His birthday celebrations have involved Sterling, cricketer Chris Gayle and Bayer Leverkusen player Leon Bailey.


Could the 100m world record potentially be even faster if Usain Bolt had dipped?

By Michael Siaw Larbi via Quora.

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt Top Speed


Usain Bolt missed 3 excellent chances to set a much lower world record, much much lower than the current 9.58 seconds he set at the 2009 Berlin IAAF World Championships.

Let’s take a look at these 3 otherwise perfect world record-breaking chances;

  1. Usain Bolt BEIJING 2008 OLYMPICS

We all remember this one. Bolt’s first major Olympics (I say major because he appeared in the Athens 2004 Olympics). Bolt set a then-new World Record of 9.69 seconds (beating the 9.72 seconds he set earlier that year in New York).

Just look at the results below.

Usain Bolt

a. Bolt had the second-worst reaction time (second to Churandy Martina)

If Bolt managed to get Thompson or Dix’s reaction time of 0.133 seconds, the world record would have been sub-9.6 seconds. Who knows? Maybe better than 9.58 seconds (current world record)

b. Bolt did THIS

Usain Bolt

Yes, he did. With 20 meters (yes, you read right) to go, Bolt slowed down, opened his arms, and hit his chest (classic showboating)….and he still broke the world record!!!

Imagine if he ran full speed to the line. Maybe even 9.58 seconds would have been beaten (for sure)!


c. He ran like THIS

Usain Bolt

Yes. and I did not even do the guy’s shoelaces. And he still broke the World Record. Enough said. Put the above 3 situations into perfection, and I can guarantee the World Record would not have been the 9.69 seconds he ran. Maybe something 9.5-ish seconds or 9.4? Who knows?



In Berlin, Bolt was not in to play. No showboating this time as he did in Beijing the previous year. Tyson Gay was in the form of his life (and Bolt knew this). Bolt had to bring his A-game….and he did. Except that…

He did this

Usain Bolt

He turned around to look at where Tyson Gay was about twice (or thrice) throughout the 100m race.

If only he concentrated to the end and dipped at the line (and got Richard Thompson’s reaction time), we could have had a lower world record than this….

Usain Bolt


This event.

London 2012.

This one.

The 9.58 World Record should have (and would have) been broken here.

Usain Bolt

From the above, we can see the race had a positive tailwind of +1.5 m/s (way better than the +0.9 m/s in the 2009 world record race).

Except he did this….

Usain Bolt

Maybe you don’t get the message.

Bolt did this

Usain Bolt

That right there is called dipping for the finish line way before the finish line. With the speed at which he was running, he broke momentum….

That is how we had 9.63 seconds (a new Olympic Record) instead of a new World Record (9.50 seconds maybe?)

Usain Bolt Ties 40-Yard NFL Record

Usain Bolt Top Speed
Usain Bolt Top Speed

Many NFL players believed they could take on Usain Bolt in the 40-yard dash.

And their actual times seem like they could for several reasons.


1) 40-yard dash times in NFL combine only start once the athlete moves, negating reaction time to the equation, which could average roughly around 0.2 seconds

2) Usain Bolt is not the best starter

3) Bolt never did an actual 40-yard dash on fairgrounds.

So here it is. Bolt runs an actual 40-yard dash in 4.22 (NFL record), is 2 years retired, in jogging pants, and not even wearing cleats or football shoes. We’re not even sure if he warmed up. And I think he just wanted to have fun. Don’t mess with this guy! Hahahaha #GOAT

(From Mark Reyes, Underdog Fitness, Former University of the Philippines Coach)

Usain Bolt ties the fastest NFL 40-yard dash with a 4.22 at Super Bowl LIII. Will he run in 2020 at the #TokyoOlympics?

I was a bit more concerned at the end with the concise slow-down space he was going to tear his hamstring.

usain bolt
Usain Bolt Top Speed

NFL Record

The NFL record for the fastest 40-yard dash belongs to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross, who also ran it in 4.22 seconds ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft. Former Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson had the previous record with a 4.24-second dash, while Dri Archer (4.26), Jerome Mathis (4.26), and Marquise Goodwin(4.27) aren’t far behind.

Auburn’s Bo Jackson claims to have run a 40-yard dash with a time of 4.13 s. A time of 4.18 run by Jackson within the same week added some support to the times’ legitimacy. Texas Tech’s Jakeem Grant was hand-timed by a New Orleans Saints scout running a 4.10 in 2016, potentially beating Jackson’s record.[9] Deion Sanders ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash in 1989.

In 2013, Carlin Isles recorded a time of 4.22 at a Detroit Lions facility during a workout.

In 2017 Olympic sprinter Christian Coleman ran a time of 4.12 seconds on turf to claim that NFL players are as fast as Usain Bolt.

Usain Bolt ran a 4.22 in running shoes and a tracksuit at a promotional event for the Super Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia, on Feb 2nd, 2019.


Usain Bolt Boasts

Sept 27, 2017

Usain Bolt Top Speed
Usain Bolt Top Speed

Usain Bolt doing his signature post at the 2016 Golden Spike Ostrava- Photo by Prof. Airnel T. Abarra

Usain Bolt retires without pressure, believing his best times will stand for decades. After the world championships in London, Bolt retired. He achieved world records of 9.58 seconds in the 100 and 19.19 in the 200 in Berlin in 2009.

“I think [they’re] going to last a while,” Bolt remarked during a promotional event in Japan on Tuesday. “I think our era with Yohan Blake, Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell, and all these guys was the best era of athletes. I think I have at least 15–20 more years.” Bolt’s final major meet in London failed.

Bolt’s last race ended in a painful hamstring injury while anchoring Jamaica’s 4×100-metre relay squad after a shocking third-place finish in the 100 behind Americans Gatlin and Christian Coleman. Gatlin, who often played the villain during Bolt’s reign, believes his nemesis will return. Bolt scoffed. I left track and field because I had nothing to prove. “After you do everything you want, there is no reason to stick around,” Bolt added.

Bolt’s charisma and smile made every race a party. Bolt claimed he doesn’t see a future track superstar.

“It’s hard for me to pick someone,” Bolt stated. “My personality and fast times made me stand out.”If you want to be a sports star and dominate a sport, you have to let people know who you are as a person, not just a track athlete.”

Given its success in the prior decade, Jamaica only earned one gold medal in the worlds this year. Bolt claimed his country’s young athletes must stand up without him. Bolt said Jamaica’s biggest issue is if the youth want it. “Over the years, I’ve learned you have to want to be great. If you don’t want to be great, you won’t.”

Is Manchester United next?

United Red? Wanting to be great and doing what it takes is very different. “A lot of the young athletes, as soon as they get their first contract and start making money, they just don’t care as much anymore,” Bolt stated. “Most are happy with their first contract, going out, and making their first team. If they are satisfied with that, we are in trouble. “Hopefully, a few of these young guys are going to be hungry and want to be great, and if we get those guys, we will be OK, but so far, it is not looking good.”

Bolt wants to play soccer and marry. Bolt, a Manchester United fan, says he always wanted to play football. “My team is working on that, but we haven’t confirmed anything!


NB. Some Edits Made


Usain Bolt’s last 100m Race (video) (Jun 14, 2017)

English: Usain Bolt during 200 m final – 2011 World Championships Athletics in Daegu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Bolt Loses Medal

Read the Full Article Here

Usain Bolt stated he would retire after the 2017 World Champs.

Bolt may be the greatest Olympic sprinter. Completed the rare feat of 9 golds, one short of Carl Lewis’s 10. Lewis did it in 4 Olympics, Bolt in 3. Beijing, 2008; London, 2012; Rio, 2016.

Bolt’s unprecedented 100m, 200m, and 4x100m triple hatrick in three consecutive games.

2008 Beijing: 100m 9.69, 200m 19.30, 4×100 37.10.

2012 London: 100m 9.63, 200m 19.32, 4×100 36.84 (global and Olympic records).

Usain Bolt Blasts Back in London Diamond League (videos)

Jul 26, 2015



2002 World Juniors Usain Bolt 200m (video)

Below are the Qualifying Standards and Schedule for the 2002 World Juniors in Kingston, Jamaica.

2002 World Juniors Entry Standards and TimeTable

It was here that 15-year-old Usain Bolt would win his first global title and become the youngest World Junior Champion ever, with a time of 20.61.

Usain Bolt talks Olympic history, racing in the U.S., and more in Q&A

Nick Zaccardi

Sep 4, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT

NEW YORK — Usain Bolt made a rare appearance in the U.S. on Wednesday, about 10 days after he ended an abbreviated track season and one day after playing cricket in India.

Olympic Talk caught up with Bolt. Here are excerpts from the interview:

OlympicTalk: If you were president of the IAAF and could change one thing about track and field, what would it be?

Bolt: One thing I’d have to try to address is always going to be drug use. I will put in place to get a ban for a couple of years if you make a mistake. But if you seriously did it on purpose, you should be banned for life.

OlympicTalk: If you were president of the International Olympic Committee and could change one thing about the Olympics, what would it be?

Bolt: I don’t know. I think the Olympics is a great competition. I don’t have an issue with the Olympics. They work well.

OlympicTalk: Who do you consider the greatest Olympian of all time?

Bolt: Herb McKenley. (McKinley, the first Jamaican Olympic 100m medalist, won four Olympic sprint medals over the 1948 and 1952 Olympics.) Back in the day, these guys are my idols growing up. I love to see these guys. These guys pushed the barrier coming up and did great for Jamaica starting. I lived to see these guys and be just like them.



Workout Routine and Diet Plan

English: Usain Bolt Top Speed during 200 m final – 2011 World Championships Athletics in Daegu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt (“Lightning Bolt”) won three Olympic golds. Holding the world record for the 100 and 200-meter sprints at 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds, respectively, Bolt is a towering presence at 6’5″, 207lbs. Bolt runs 100 meters in 40-41 strides, compared to 45-48 for a compact sprinter. This lens describes Usain Bolt’s workout and diet.

Usain Bolt wins 100m at Jamaican Olympic Trials 2013

Men 100 Meter Dash

World Record: W 9.58 8/16/2009 Usain Bolt, Jamaica
NATIONAL Rec: N 9.58 8/16/2009 Usain Bolt
Name Age Team Semis Finals
Section 1 Finals Wind: -1.2
1 43 Usain Bolt 26 Racers Track Club 10.03 9.94
2 17 Kemar Bailey-Cole 20 Racers Track Club 10.02 9.98
3 13 Nickel Ashmeade 22 Unattached 10.03 9.99
4 71 Nester Carter 27 Mvp Track Club 9.97 10.14
5 178 Jason Livermore 24 Akan Track Club 10.21 10.18
6 16 Oshane Bailey 23 Unattached 10.14 10.20
7 227 Asafa Powell 30 Mvp Track Club 10.05 10.22
8 20 Winston Barnes 24 Mvp Track Club 10.26 10.25


After losing to Gatlin earlier in the season in 9.95, World Record Holder Usain Bolt won the Jamaican Olympic Trials in 9.94. As the defending world champion, teammate Yohan Blake received a wild card and did not compete. Asafa Powell finished seventh and did not qualify.

Famous names out after the Heats: Ainsley Waugh 10.37 (former relay member), Lerone Clarke 10.31 (Commonwealth Games Champion), Jazeel Murphy 10.39 (fastest world for his age).

Ramon McKenzie 10.29, Dexter Lee 10.39 (world junior medalists)

Bolt Beaten in 400 Meter Season Opener

July 12, 2013

Saturday’s 400-meter competition in Kingston saw Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt finish third.

The Camperdown Classic’s triple Olympic gold medalist won his heat in 46.71 seconds.

After his teammates Warren Weir and Yohan Blake ran quicker heats, he finished third overall.

Weir, who placed third behind Bolt and Blake in the London 200m final last year, triumphed in a personal best 46.21 seconds.

After a fast start, Blake faded in the final straight and finished at 46.64.

While there was no final for the event, which was part of a Racers Track Club meeting that attracted roughly 30 participants.

Bolt, the 100 and 200 sprint world record holder and twice Olympic champion, starts each season with 400 races to improve fitness.

The NBA All-Star Game in Texas is next week, but his main goal this year is the world championships in Moscow.




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