The Fastest Athletes in Sport

There are many different ways to judge speed in sport, we are looking at running speed in here but even that can be conflicting.  For example over very short distances 0-10 meters there is a good chance that pro racket sports players and most likely tennis players are the fastest, they must have lightening quick reactions and be able to cover the court in milli seconds.

So for arguments sake, let’s look at sports where people have to run 40 meters plus, which would rule in elite athletes in 100m, 200m sprints, Rugby Union, Rugby 7’s, Football (soccer) and NFL.

How amazing would it be to get all the below names lined up on a track for a race!

Athletics – Sprinting

Usain Bolt

He may be retired now but for years Bolt was the undisputed king of speed, he held the title of “Fastest man in the World” for years and is regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time.  His long standing world records may not be broken for a long time.

Bolt is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016).  He also holds the 100 (9.58) and 200m (19.19) meter records which are unlikely to be broken anytime soon.

Noah Lyles

Lyles is an American sprinter born in Gainesville, Florida in 1997, and at only 22 years old is the fastest man in the world today.  He holds personal bests of 9.86 seconds for the 100 meters and 19.50 seconds for the 200 meters, also he’s the 300m indoor world record holder with a time of 31.87.

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Lyles has had a slump in his career of late and finished a disappointed third in the Tokyo Olympics.  But at the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22 Lyles made his return to the top retaining the world 200m title in 19.31.  Putting Lyles ahead of Johnson’s old record and third in the all-time list behind Bolt’s world record of 19.19 and Yohan Blake’s 19.26.

Fred Kerley (USA) 9.76 EugeneUnited States 24 June 2022

Christian Coleman

fastest athletes

Christian Coleman Photo Credit – Flickr

US sprinter Christian Coleman is also worth mentioning, he won the 100m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha with a time of 9.76.  He holds personal records of 9.76 seconds for the 100 m and 19.85 for the 200 m, and is also the world indoor record holder for the 60-meter sprint with time of 6.34 seconds.

Fred Kerley

The US sprinter has dropped the 400m for the 100m and at Oregon 22 this has really paid off, he won the 100m final in a blistering quick time of 9.76, the joint 6th fastest time ever.   Kerley is currently the fastest man in the world over 100m.

The fastest non-motorised sport


Fastest athletes

It has been proven time and again that football is, as Vince Lombardi said, a game of inches.  But football is also a game of speed and thanks to computer chips inserted into players’ shoulder pads, we now know how fast they can run.  NFL players have to wear big pads and lots of gear, run on grass but always have some of the fastest athletes in sport.

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Over the past 2 years there have been a few contenders for the fastest man in the NFL, the below 4 have gotten the most air play and for good reason.

Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs

Hill is consistently mentioned when is comes to the fastest in NFL after clocking 23.24 mph in his 2016 rookie season, he also has recorded track times of 10.19 seconds (100 meters), 20.14 seconds (200 meters) | 40 time: 4.24 seconds

This wide receiver has got the skill to match his speed and is great to watch.

Raheem Mostert

Playing for the 49ers, Mostert hit a speed of 23.09 in 2020, which is the second fastest time in recent years

John Ross – Cincinnati Bengals

The current 40-yard dash record is held by Ross, who covered the distance in 4.22 seconds in 2017 and saw his stock rise dramatically as a result.

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Leonard Fournette – Louisiana State

Weighing in at 240 pounds Fournette seems like an unlikely contender but this bruiser clocked top speed of 22.05 mph in 2017.

New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty who got timed at a top speed of 22.05mph and Minnesota Vikings running  back Dalvin Cook’s who has been clocked at 22.07 mph are also contenders.


Again there are a lot of people who we could mention here from legends’ Ronaldo to Messi

Gareth Bale – Real Madrid

Fastest athletes

Real Madrid winger has been clocked at 36.9kph (35.7 mph) which is the fastest sprint speed recorded for any football player, he even won over Usain Bolt who in 2014 said that Bale is “the fastest (soccer player) in the world at the moment.”

Orlando Berrio – Flamengo 

He might not be a well-known name, mostly because of the fact that he has played for the majority of time in South America for Brazilian clubs. But this Columbian winger sure can run, his fastest sprint speed recorded was 36kph.

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Kylian Mbappe – PSG

The Frenchman has been making waves in world football ever since he was a talented teen at AS Monaco. Now at Paris Saint-Germain, he is already a proud winner of the World Cup and its Best Young Player of the Tournament award.  At only 20 years old there is a lot more to come from Mbappe who has also been clocked at 36kph (22.37mph)

But it’s Luis Advíncula who may be the fastest soccer player of them all.

According to reports in his native Peru. The 28-year-old Peruvian fullback recently clocked a top speed of 22.46 mph during a game in Mexico’s top club league, Liga MX

The most amazing world records in sport


Rugby is another game where speed in vital, it’s pretty simple, if a player makes a break and is fast enough not to be caught, a try is certainty.   There have been lot’s of speed freaks over the years but for now there is one undisputed king of speed in rugby –

Carlin Isles

fastest athletes

The USA winger, mainly a sevens player, has an official USTA sanctioned wind legal 10.15’s 100m time, he is officially the fastest man in rugby and is serious entertainment to watch, he is completely uncatchable when he makes a break. He has been clocked running up to 37 kph

The 10 greatest rugby players of all time

His teammate Perry Baker has also been recorded at 37km/h on the field.

Fiji 7s star Alosio Naduva hit a staggering 36km per hour against Spain, suggesting that he’s right up in the speed stake

Jonny May

Leicester Tigers winger clocked a 40-metre sprint speed of 10.49 metres per second during an England rugby training session while Leinster winger Barry Daly is surely a contender to with a recorded sprint of 10.5 meter per second.

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We’ll keep an eye on this one and add to it during the year and if you have any suggestions please get in touch.

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