Usain Bolt's historic streak 

August, 10, 2010

Today's winners in Stats & Analytics:

Usain Bolt, Grover the Muppet, Justin Morneau

Today's losers:


Tyson Gay might have beaten Usain Bolt in the 100 meters at the DN Galan meet in Stockholm on Friday, but there's new statistical evidence to show just how dominant Bolt has been over the past two years. Long story short: He's nearly a half-century ahead of his time.

The world used to measure the time between 100-meter world records in years, if not decades. After Jim Hines broke the 10-second barrier in 1968, it took 23 years before Carl Lewis got under 9.9 and another eight years before Maurice Greene got under 9.8. But Bolt ran a 9.72 in May 2008, then a 9.69 at the Beijing Olympics, then a mind-blowing 9.58 just about one year ago in Berlin. And those numbers sent numbers geeks into an analytical frenzy.

Peter Keating

ESPN Senior Writer
Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. His column, The Numbers, appears in every issue.