Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Emma from Auckland. Emma Wonders, “Who is the fastest female runner in the world?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Emma!
On your mark…get set…GO! Do those words send a shiver down your spine as you anticipate the excitement of a good old-fashioned foot race? For a long time, school yards all over the world have been the site of impromptu races between students.
Today, running remains a popular form of exercise enjoyed by people of all ages. While some people prefer to walk or jog and others prefer long-distance endurance races, some people still prefer the thrill of the quick sprint.
A key event in high school track and field competitions, as well as at college-level and Olympic competitions, is the 100-meter sprint. In America, you might have heard this race referred to as the 100-yard dash, since Americans don't always use the metric system. One hundred yards equates to only 91.4 meters, so the 100-yard dash is actually a shorter race.
The 100-meter dash is usually the shortest race, yet it remains one of the most popular and prestigious events in the world of sports. In fact, the winner of the 100-meter dash at the Olympics is usually considered “the fastest man/woman in the world."
Currently, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the reigning 100-meter dash champion at both the Olympics and the world championships. Given those titles, many consider her to be the fastest woman in the world.
Fraser-Pryce's personal best time in the 100-meter dash was set in June 2012 in Kingston, Jamaica. She completed the race that day in a blistering 10.70 seconds. Given that time, however, Fraser-Pryce is not the fastest woman in history.
American Carmelita Jeter, who finished second to Fraser-Pryce at the London Olympics, has a personal best time of 10.64 seconds in the 100-meter dash. While extremely fast, Jeter is also not the fastest woman in history.
That title belongs to the one and only Florence Griffith-Joyner. Known as “Flo-Jo" by her many fans, Griffith-Joyner still holds the all-time world record in the 100-meter dash at 10.49 seconds set in 1988. Although some people dispute that record due to possible wind conditions and allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, the record still stands.