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The Fastest People in the World

June 17, 2015

Better read this article about the speediest runners, swimmers, and bicyclists before it zips away.

Fastest People in the World

100 Meters

At the 2009 World Athletics Championships, Jamaican runner Usain Bolt earned the title “world’s fastest man” for completing the 100-meter-dash in just 9.58 seconds. He beat the previous record of 9.69 seconds…which Bolt had set at the 2008 Summer Olympics. The women’s record is 10.49 seconds, set by Florence Griffith-Joyner at an Olympics qualifying event in 1988, and it still stands.

The Mile

Roger Bannister of England ran the first four-minute mile in 1954, and runners have been getting faster and faster ever since. In 1999, Moroccan runner Hicham El Guerrouj made the time to beat: 3:43.13. The women’s record-holder is Russian distance runner Svetlana Masterkova. Her time of 4:12.56 was set in 1968, and still stands.


They’re a standard distance of 26.2 miles, and the fastest person to ever do it is Dennis Kimetto. In Sept. 2014, the Kenyan runner finished the Berlin Marathon in just two hours, two minutes, and 57 seconds.


Cesar Cielo of Brazil swam the 50 meter freestyle in 20.91 seconds at the Brazilian Championships in December 2009, just six months after his record 46.91 second time in the 100 meter freestyle at the World Championships earlier that year. At those same championships, Paul Biedermann of Germany set new records in the 200 meter freestyle (1:42) and the 400 meter freestyle (3:40.07).


In 2013, Sebastiaan Bowier pedaled a bike to a speed of 83.13 miles per hour. Three years earlier, Barbara Buatois set the record for women, at 75.69 mph. Faster speeds have reached by towing bikes and letting them go at fast speeds, or on downhill slopes, or with experimental bicycles, but these are the fastest man and woman to ever ride a bike on a flat surface powered by their own two feet.

Fastest Pitch

This one’s a little different, but we had to include it because it’s so remarkably fast. In a Sept. 2010 game against the San Diego Padres, Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds threw a strike at 105 mph, the fastest record pitch in big league history.

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