Bravo to South African sprinter Akani Simbine, who brought order back to track and field’s main event with a world-leading 9.90-second victory in the men’s 100 meters at the Atlanta City Games.

Christian Miller, a senior at a Florida high school who had held the record with 9.93 seconds in April, was eclipsed by his amazing race. To add to the early excitement, this season’s sub-10-second group also features rookie pro-Brandon Hicklin and former world junior champion Kendal Williams.

Although wind-legal results attest to their skill, elite sprinters have not yet produced the spectacular feats that were expected of them. Even though the Diamond League Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, is quickly approaching, American stars Fred Kerley and Christian Coleman haven’t produced particularly impressive 100-meter speeds.

Letsile Tebogo and Zharnel Hughes, the 2023 world medalists, have also not garnered much attention in the short sprints. Unexpectedly, these athletes haven’t published significant statistics as we approach the Olympic trials in late June.

Lyles Predicts An Impending Explosion

The world of elite men’s 100-meter sprinting may appear inactive as Memorial Day weekend draws near, but Noah Lyles’s explosive 150-meter race in Atlanta is a potent indicator of things to come.

With an astounding timing of 14.41 seconds, Lyles, who won the world 100/200 double in Budapest last summer and is currently the face of NBC’s pre-Olympic advertising campaign, tied Tyson Gay’s American record.

If the men’s 100m is like a volcano waiting to erupt, Lyles’s record-breaking run is the ominous cloud that suggests a wild season could be approaching.

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Predicting a race’s outcome using information from nearby distances is a science and an art in equal measure, depending on the particular competitor and the circumstances of the event. Su Bingtian has captivated track statisticians since 2021 when he set a record for the fastest 60-meter split (6.29 seconds) in an Olympic 100-meter quarterfinal.

Su had a personal best time of 9.83 seconds to finish that race in 15th place overall, but his outstanding start pointed to a world record time. Ultimately, though, he falls behind speedier finishers in the end.

Cover Photo: IG

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