If Netflix is to be believed, the Fastest Man is…Barry Allen (aka the Flash). Apparently he can reach a speed of 13.2 Mach and his potential is purportedly unlimited.
In the real world though, the fastest man or woman would likely be crowned at the Olympics. Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt are among the most recognizable names when it comes to speed.
At the Tokyo Olympics 2020, that honour goes to Marcell Jacobs. He clocked 9.8s in the 100m race, taking the gold medal. Of course, the world record of 9.58s is still being held by the legendary Usain Bolt. Still, Jacobs’ win must have been momentous for the Texas-born Italian – surprising even himself.
The women’s 100m race was won by Jamaican Elaine Thompson–Herah. Her 10.61s time ensured that she keeps her crown.
But the greatest moment on track must have been the men’s 400m hurdles. Won by Norway’s Karsten Warholm, with a jaw-dropping new world record of 45.94s. The 25 year old reportedly trains up to 7 hours a day for 6 days a week, that in itself must have been a world record too.
Fellow Norwegian, Jakob Ingebrigtsen was equally impressive as he powered past Kenyan Timothy Cheriyiot in the last stretch to the finishing line to win the men’s 1500m race. He set a new Olympic record of 3:28:32.
The other very noteworthy new world record in the 400m hurdles is set by USA’s Sydney Mclaughlin. She clocked 51.46s, besting the two-year-old world record set by fellow team mate, Dalilah Muhammad, in Doha.
And who would forget Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali, the champion of the 3000m steeplechase? The Kenyans dominated this race in all the Olympic games that they have participated in since 1968. So this was a historic moment indeed.
An exciting finish must have been in the men’s 5000m event, where Joshua Cheptegai clocked 12:58.15 to take home the gold. Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed powered from the forth position to take second place. But the real drama was the way USA’s Paul Chelimo lunged his way through the finishing line to clinch the bronze medal, edging out Kenyan Kimeli by a mere 12 milliseconds. The TV commentator was hoarse from that cliffhanger.
Ironically, one of the most dramatic performances at the Tokyo Olympics was not at any of the finals. While Netherlands' Sifan Hassan won the gold in both the women’s 5000m and 10000m, it was her dramatic recovery in the 1500m heat that was the show stopper. With just 380m to go, she suffered a nasty fall yet somehow managed to get up and win the race at 4:05:17. What remarkable grit!
Just as much as the races have spiked our heartrates, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 has a nail-biting story of its own. Due to the pandemic, it was an event that almost never happened. When it finally did, it was a bit of a misnomer as it was held this year, in 2021. Despite the uncertainties and being the only “spectatorless” games and the many covid-19 positive cases, this has one of the most records broken.
Can we really decide who was the fastest man or woman at the Olympics? Not really, as every champion was fastest (or strongest or most capable, etc) in his own right. Rather, the event brought out the best in every Olympian whether they won a medal or not. One thing is sure: you only need wait another 3 years before the next Olympics – must be a new world record!
The Olympics must have brought out the athletes in many of us and we see many more people exercising these days. When exercising outdoors, remember to take your pair of Sunday Shades along! Lightweight, snug-fitting, colourful, there is at least one pair of Sunday Shades you’ll fancy. Check them out here.