The Fastest Athletes in the World by Sport

Hello everyone today we are going to talk about one of the most essential skills any athlete should have no matter which sport he or she practices. Of course, there are different types to speed such as acceleration, top speed, and reaction speed just to name a few. 

In this video, we are going to unveil the fastest athlete in every major sport. Make sure to tell us who we left out but should have been on the list as most sports don’t have one clear cut fastest off all-time except our first sport.

Maybe you already guessed it but our first sport is running with the one person who has to be in a video about the fastest athletes. The fastest sprinter is of course Justin Simeon (slowest 100m sprint in the 2016 Olympics), no just kidding it’s of course the greatest sprinter of all time Usain “lightning” Bolt. 

Usain Bolt dominated the sprinting world for almost a decade. His first big win came in 2008 when he won his first 2 gold medals on the 100 and 200-meter sprint in Beijing. But Bolt ran his best time ever one year later at the world championships in Berlin where he ran 100 meters in only 9.58 seconds. This record still stands today and will likely be the top time for the foreseeable future. Bolt also ran the fastest 200 meters ever in Berlin as he ran 19.19, this record also still stands today. Bolt then kept dominating over the next 8 years and retired in 2017 after the world championships in London. 
Bolt finished his career with 11 world championships, 2 silver and one bronze medal at the world championships, and 8 Olympic gold medals which puts him at a shared 10th place for most medals at the Olympics.

Our next sport is a bit more contested. In basketball, the most competition is between recent players such as John Wall, Russel Westbrook, and pre-injury Derrick Rose. Some other players also have some amazing acceleration for example Allen Iverson or Michael Jordan. 

Because of the shorter field acceleration and explosiveness are absolutely the most important aspects of speed in basketball. Of course, Basketball is a sport in which speed isn’t as important as in other sports because height, strength, and great jumping can compensate for the lack of speed. Despite that, we have seen some dominance of absolute speedsters over the past few years as the game became more and more fast-paced and focused on the fastbreak. For example, top 5 picks such as Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Ja Morant, John Wall, and Russell Westbrook are seen as some of the best point guards in the league. 

Our first honorable mention is Derrick Rose who was absolutely electrifying in his first seasons with the Chicago Bulls especially in 2011 when he won the MVP Award as the youngest player of all-time. 

Unfortunately, disaster struck one year later when Rose badly injured his ACL which cost him a lot in the speed department. Luckily he recently found back his stride by putting up solid numbers despite completely changing his playing style. Our second honorable mention is John Wall, we don’t know yet how he will have recovered from 2 years of injury but hopefully, he is back at 100% and may he stay healthy as he has been an absolute gamechanger as a point guard for the Wizards.

But the one and only basketball player who takes the crown is Russel Westbrook. From the moment he entered the league in 2008, Westbrook was immediately one of the most athletic players in the NBA. He is the most explosive athlete in the league and almost a walking highlight reel. He doesn’t only use this amazing athleticism but also for rebounding and amazing defense. On top of that, he is one of the most reliable and durable players. After a bad hit which led to a knee injury in the 2013 playoffs, there was some concern that Westbrook wouldn’t be the same but he bounced back and record the fastest time from one baseline to the other in an NBA game. He ran all the way from one end of the court to the other in only 3.36 seconds which is almost half a second faster than any NBA player that year.

Our next sport is maybe the least popular of the five. If you think of a sport with a lot of speedsters you don’t really think about baseball. Despite that, there have been a lot of amazing athletes. Baseball is also a sport in which acceleration is important but speed isn’t everything. Just look at track star Herb Washington who still has the 50-yard world record and the 60-yard world record after running amazing times in 1972 but who couldn’t succeed in the MBL. Some other honorable mentions are Deion Sanders who was able to be an absolute beast in two sports In 1988, while at Florida State, he ran a 10.26-second 100-meter dash (32 ft/s), and at the NFL combine the following year he posted a 4.27-second 40-yard dash. Another great runner was Vince Coleman. He came onto the scene as a 23-year old rookie but immediately played great and won rookie of the year. He stole 752 sixths most all-time with an 81 percent success rate. His lightning speed shouldn’t have been a surprise as he once ran a 9.5-second 100-yard dash which is 31.6 feet per second. 

But of course, the fastest baseball player ever is the legendary Ricky Henderson. Over the course of his career, Henderson stole 1406 bases which is almost 500 more than the second-most stolen bases of all time. The times that Henderson was able to run in baseball gear were absolutely amazing as he ran 32 feet per second on the field. Before he reached his peak speed he even ran track for a short while and clocked in at 9.6 on the 100m dash.

In our next sport speed is one of the most important aspects. If we think of the fastest athlete in recent memory the first athlete that comes to mind is Tyreek Hill. But despite Hill being an amazing runner, there have been faster athletes than him in the NFL. Of course, there is primetime Deion Sanders who we already talked about who was one of the most athletically gifted players ever. 
He was one of the best lockdown corners for over a decade and no wide receiver or tight end was able to get separation from him reliably. He also ran a 4.21 40-yard dash at the 1989 NFL combine. His great speed led to him being one of the best punts and kick returners ever as he scored 19 defensive and returning touchdowns which is an all-time record. Our second honorable mention is also a cornerback who played in the nineties. Darrel Green was an amazing cornerback who played from 1983 to 2002 in the NFL. His durability was amazing. Even in his forties, he performed better than some players in their 20’s. He reportedly ran a 4.15 at a Washington Redskins training camp.
Someone who is probably one of the most well known NFL and MBL superstars is Bo Jackson. His career was tragically cut short due to a left hip injury. Despite his short career in the NFL his amazing athletic ability has to be recognized. As a track-and-field runner in college, Jackson had some success but he reached his peak at the NFL combine where ran an incredible 4.12 which is still the fastest verifiable 40-yard dash time ever recorded at any NFL Combine. 

But there can only be one who takes the crown and in this case, we have to put amazing Bob Hayes before Jackson. Bob Hayes played in the NFL from 1965 until 1975 but before that, he had also won an Olympic gold medal by running a new world record at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964.
He ran a crushing 10.06 seconds in the 100-meter event and even set another world record with his teammates at the 4 x 100-meter relay.

Our final sport is soccer. In soccer, most players run throughout the whole match but the game-changing speed is something all great players have. Whether it is the speed with the ball and explosiveness or just plain outrunning your opponents on the counter speed is still the most effective way to score. In this sport, there is really no debate to be had. In his prime, the fastest soccer player is absolutely Gareth Bale. Despite his career being in a bit of a slump, he was known as one of the most dangerous left-wingers in the world a few years ago. His great speed was one of the main factors and one of his main weapons in a lot of cases. In America, most sports have a lot of measurable such as a 40-yard dash or running from one side of the court to the other but they don’t really rely on those statistics in Europe. But the speed in-game is calculated over the last few years and Bale once ran an astonishing 22.9 miles an hour in-game! 

If you think we missed anyone let us know in the comments below!


Where is the proof that Ricky Henderson ran a 9.6 100m?


For your education rather than to call you out but this is a US centric view of “every major sport”. You asked what you missed: Google “world’s largest sports” for a start and you’ll find that field hockey and cricket are more major sports than American Football which is an odd curiosity to most of the world.


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