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Usain Bolt 9.72

I’m not generally one to get all fired up about sprinters, but in recent years I’ve forced myself to take a professional interest. Which is why I was actually paying attention to witness my first 100m world record.

I asked one longtime track writer (also a former Olympian, as it happens, not that he would tell you) who was in the mixed zone with me when the record had last been set in the U.S. I answered my own question: Donovan Bailey at the ‘96 Olympics in Atlanta. He observed that he’d actually seen the record broken twice previously on that very site: once by Leroy Burrell in 1991, and once (“that might have been 110 yards”) in 1962.

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