Usain Bolt in the mens 4x400m Relay at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (Getty Images)
Usain Bolt in the mens 4x400m Relay at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (Getty Images)
  • COUNTRY Jamaica Jamaica
  • DATE OF BIRTH 21 AUG 1986


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Updated 20 August 2007

Usain BOLT, Jamaica, (200m & 400m)

Born 21 August 1986, Trelawny, Jamaica; 1.96m; 86kg 

Coaches: Dwayne Barrett, Pablo McNeil, Fitz Coleman, Glen Mills

Nicknamed “lightning Bolt”, Usain Bolt is the only junior to have run the 200m under 20 seconds. Holder of the world junior and Jamaican national records, Bolt started running while in primary school, although his first love was cricket. He still enjoys the game but prefers basketball more now.

After competing for his parish of Trelawny at the annual national primary schools meeting, his coach convinced him to pursue track and field and that year he entered William Knibb High School.

It was not until his third year at high school, in 2001, that Bolt won his first medal at the annual high school championships, finishing second in 22.04. Fans in Barbados, host country of the Carifta Games - the Caribbean regional junior Championships - bore witness to his exciting potential as he took silver in a PB 48.28 for 400m and placed second in the 200 (21.81). Later that year he contested the 200m at the IAAF World Youth Championships. in Debrecen, Hungary, lowering his PB to 21.73, although he was eliminated in the semi-finals.

This Falmouth native blossomed in 2002. At 15, he took the 200/400 double at the High School Championships, Carifta and the CAC Junior Championships, laying the foundation for a big run at the World Junior Championships in his home country, in Kingston. Along the way, the 6 foot-5 inch Bolt, towered over the competitors lowering his 200m personal best to 20.61. In the relays, he ran solid legs as a member of national record setting teams in the 4x100 and 4x400.

Bolt maintained his superb form in 2003, winning gold in the 200m at the IAAF World Youth Championships and Pan-Am Junior Championships (equalling the world junior record of 20.13). He was the star of the Jamaican High School Championships, rewriting the record books in the under-19 age group, with an easy 45.3 in the 400m, an 0.87 improvement on the previous record and 20.25 in the curved sprint, to lower the old mark by 0.57.

Bolt, the World Youth and World Junior 200m champion, then stood on the threshold of holding an unprecedented three IAAF world 200m titles simultaneously as he prepared for the World Championships in Paris. But conjunctivitis cut short his training 6 weeks beforehand and led to him being withdrawn.

The Bolt record rampage continued in 2004. Now a professional, he lowered the world junior 200m record of 20.13 seconds he shared with American Roy Martin, as he became the first junior athlete to break 20 seconds, with his Carifta Games winning time of 19.93 in Bermuda.

Leg ailments destroyed the Olympic medal winning promise offered by the record run and Bolt was eliminated in the first round of the 200m at the Olympic Games in Athens.

Bolt has since broken 20 seconds on five other occasions. That includes his national senior record of 19.75 at the 2007 Jamaican National Championships, breaking the 36-year-old record of his hero, Don Quarrie, by 0.11. In 2005, a season in which he ran 19.99, he won the CAC title and became the youngest Jamaican male (10 days before his 19th birthday) to reach an IAAF World Championships sprint final. But injury slowed him in the Helsinki final and he finished eighth. 

Now one of the world’s finest 200m sprinters, and ranked in the world top 5 in 2005 and 2006, Bolt has not confined himself to the 200m in 2007. In the 400m, he has lowered his PB to 45.28 and he recently unleashed his speed over 100m and stunned everyone with a time of 10.03. That time places him fifth on the Jamaican all-time list behind Asafa Powell, Ray Stewart, Percival Spencer and Michael Green. His 200m national record of 19.7 places him 9th on the world all-time list, equal with Olympic champions Carl Lewis and Joe DeLoach.

Bolt is currently coached by sprint guru Glen Mills, who guided Kim Collins to gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the 2003 World Championships. Previously, he received instructions from 1964 Olympian Pablo McNeil and Dwayne Barrett at William Knibb high school and from experienced Fitz Coleman during 2004, when the world junior record was set.

Bolt says he likes watching tennis when Serena Williams plays.

Yearly Progression
200/400: 2001 – 21.81, 48.28; 2002 – 20.58, 47.12; 2003 – 20.13, 45.35; 2004 – 19.93; 2005 – 19.99; 2006 – 19.98; 2007 – 19.75 (NR), 45.28.

Personal bests
100: 10.03 (2007)
200: 19.75, NR (2007)
400:  45.28 (2007)

Career Highlights
2001: 2nd, Under 17 Carifta 200/400
2002: 1st. World Junior Championships 200;
2002: 1st, Under 17 Carifta and CAC Juniors, 200/400
2003: 1st, World Youth Championships 200
2003: 1st Pan-Am Junior 200
2003: 1st Carifta, 200/400
2004: 1st Carifta 200 (WJR19.93)
2005: 1st CAC senior, 200


Prepared by Hubert Lawrence and Garfield Samuels for the IAAF Focus on Athletes project. © IAAF 2007

Personal Best - Outdoor
Performance Wind Place Date
100 Metres 9.58 +0.9 Berlin 16 AUG 2009
200 Metres 19.19 -0.3 Berlin 20 AUG 2009
300 Metres 30.97 Ostrava 27 MAY 2010
400 Metres 45.28 Kingston (NS), JAM 05 MAY 2007
Progression - Outdoor showShow All Graphs
100 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Wind Place Date
2014 9.98 -0.6 Warszawa (Stadion Narodowy) 23 AUG
2013 9.77 -0.3 Moskva (Luzhniki) 11 AUG
2012 9.63 +1.5 London (OP) 05 AUG
2011 9.76 +1.3 Bruxelles 16 SEP
2010 9.82 +0.5 Lausanne 08 JUL
2009 9.58 +0.9 Berlin 16 AUG
2008 9.69 0.0 Beijing (National Stadium) 16 AUG
2007 10.03 +0.7 Réthimno 18 JUL
200 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Wind Place Date
2013 19.66 0.0 Moskva (Luzhniki) 17 AUG
2012 19.32 +0.4 London (OP) 09 AUG
2011 19.40 +0.8 Daegu 03 SEP
2010 19.56 -0.8 Kingston (NS), JAM 01 MAY
2009 19.19 -0.3 Berlin 20 AUG
2008 19.30 -0.9 Beijing (National Stadium) 20 AUG
2007 19.75 +0.2 Kingston (NS), JAM 24 JUN
2006 19.88 +0.4 Lausanne 11 JUL
2005 19.99 +1.8 London (CP) 22 JUL
2004 19.93 +1.4 Devonshire 11 APR
2003 20.13 0.0 Bridgetown, BAR 20 JUL
2002 20.58 +1.4 Kingston, JAM 18 JUL
2001 21.73 +0.6 Debrecen 14 JUL
300 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2010 30.97 Ostrava 27 MAY
400 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2013 46.44 Kingston (Mona), JAM 23 MAR
2010 45.87 Kingston (NS), JAM 13 FEB
2009 45.54 Kingston (NS), JAM 21 FEB
2008 46.94 01 JAN
2007 45.28 Kingston (NS), JAM 05 MAY
2006 47.58 Kingston (SEF), JAM 29 JAN
2004 47.58 01 JAN
2003 45.35 Kingston, JAM 05 APR
2002 47.12 01 JAN
2001 48.28 01 JAN
Honours - 100 Metres
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
14th IAAF World Championships 1 9.77 -0.3 Moskva (Luzhniki) 11 AUG 2013
The XXX Olympic Games 1 9.63 +1.5 London (OP) 05 AUG 2012
13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics f DQ -1.4 Daegu 28 AUG 2011
12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 1 9.58 +0.9 Berlin 16 AUG 2009
The XXIX Olympic Games 1 9.69 0.0 Beijing (National Stadium) 16 AUG 2008
Honours - 200 Metres
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
14th IAAF World Championships 1 19.66 0.0 Moskva (Luzhniki) 17 AUG 2013
The XXX Olympic Games 1 19.32 +0.4 London (OP) 09 AUG 2012
13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 1 19.40 +0.8 Daegu 03 SEP 2011
IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final 1 19.68 -0.3 Thessaloníki 13 SEP 2009
12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 1 19.19 -0.3 Berlin 20 AUG 2009
The XXIX Olympic Games 1 19.30 -0.9 Beijing (National Stadium) 20 AUG 2008
11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 2 19.91 -0.8 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 30 AUG 2007
10th IAAF World Cup 2 19.96 +0.1 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 17 SEP 2006
4th IAAF World Athletics Final 3 20.10 -0.1 Stuttgart 10 SEP 2006
10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 8 26.27 -0.5 Helsinki 11 AUG 2005
28th Olympic Games 5h4 21.05 0.0 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 24 AUG 2004
3rd IAAF World Youth Championships 1 20.40 -1.1 Sherbrooke 13 JUL 2003
IAAF/Coca Cola World Junior Championships 1 20.61 +0.9 Kingston, JAM 19 JUL 2002
2nd IAAF/Westel World Youth Championships 5sf2 21.73 +0.6 Debrecen 14 JUL 2001
Honours - 400 Metres
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
3rd IAAF World Youth Championships sf1 DNS Sherbrooke 11 JUL 2003


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Updated 20 August 2007

Usain BOLT, Jamaica, (200m & 400m)

Born 21 August 1986, Trelawny, Jamaica; 1.96m; 86kg 

Coaches: Dwayne Barrett, Pablo McNeil, Fitz Coleman, Glen Mills

Nicknamed “lightning Bolt”, Usain Bolt is the only junior to have run the 200m under 20 seconds. Holder of the world junior and Jamaican national records, Bolt started running while in primary school, although his first love was cricket. He still enjoys the game but prefers basketball more now.

After competing for his parish of Trelawny at the annual national primary schools meeting, his coach convinced him to pursue track and field and that year he entered William Knibb High School.

It was not until his third year at high school, in 2001, that Bolt won his first medal at the annual high school championships, finishing second in 22.04. Fans in Barbados, host country of the Carifta Games - the Caribbean regional junior Championships - bore witness to his exciting potential as he took silver in a PB 48.28 for 400m and placed second in the 200 (21.81). Later that year he contested the 200m at the IAAF World Youth Championships. in Debrecen, Hungary, lowering his PB to 21.73, although he was eliminated in the semi-finals.

This Falmouth native blossomed in 2002. At 15, he took the 200/400 double at the High School Championships, Carifta and the CAC Junior Championships, laying the foundation for a big run at the World Junior Championships in his home country, in Kingston. Along the way, the 6 foot-5 inch Bolt, towered over the competitors lowering his 200m personal best to 20.61. In the relays, he ran solid legs as a member of national record setting teams in the 4x100 and 4x400.

Bolt maintained his superb form in 2003, winning gold in the 200m at the IAAF World Youth Championships and Pan-Am Junior Championships (equalling the world junior record of 20.13). He was the star of the Jamaican High School Championships, rewriting the record books in the under-19 age group, with an easy 45.3 in the 400m, an 0.87 improvement on the previous record and 20.25 in the curved sprint, to lower the old mark by 0.57.

Bolt, the World Youth and World Junior 200m champion, then stood on the threshold of holding an unprecedented three IAAF world 200m titles simultaneously as he prepared for the World Championships in Paris. But conjunctivitis cut short his training 6 weeks beforehand and led to him being withdrawn.

The Bolt record rampage continued in 2004. Now a professional, he lowered the world junior 200m record of 20.13 seconds he shared with American Roy Martin, as he became the first junior athlete to break 20 seconds, with his Carifta Games winning time of 19.93 in Bermuda.

Leg ailments destroyed the Olympic medal winning promise offered by the record run and Bolt was eliminated in the first round of the 200m at the Olympic Games in Athens.

Bolt has since broken 20 seconds on five other occasions. That includes his national senior record of 19.75 at the 2007 Jamaican National Championships, breaking the 36-year-old record of his hero, Don Quarrie, by 0.11. In 2005, a season in which he ran 19.99, he won the CAC title and became the youngest Jamaican male (10 days before his 19th birthday) to reach an IAAF World Championships sprint final. But injury slowed him in the Helsinki final and he finished eighth. 

Now one of the world’s finest 200m sprinters, and ranked in the world top 5 in 2005 and 2006, Bolt has not confined himself to the 200m in 2007. In the 400m, he has lowered his PB to 45.28 and he recently unleashed his speed over 100m and stunned everyone with a time of 10.03. That time places him fifth on the Jamaican all-time list behind Asafa Powell, Ray Stewart, Percival Spencer and Michael Green. His 200m national record of 19.7 places him 9th on the world all-time list, equal with Olympic champions Carl Lewis and Joe DeLoach.

Bolt is currently coached by sprint guru Glen Mills, who guided Kim Collins to gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the 2003 World Championships. Previously, he received instructions from 1964 Olympian Pablo McNeil and Dwayne Barrett at William Knibb high school and from experienced Fitz Coleman during 2004, when the world junior record was set.

Bolt says he likes watching tennis when Serena Williams plays.

Yearly Progression
200/400: 2001 – 21.81, 48.28; 2002 – 20.58, 47.12; 2003 – 20.13, 45.35; 2004 – 19.93; 2005 – 19.99; 2006 – 19.98; 2007 – 19.75 (NR), 45.28.

Personal bests
100: 10.03 (2007)
200: 19.75, NR (2007)
400:  45.28 (2007)

Career Highlights
2001: 2nd, Under 17 Carifta 200/400
2002: 1st. World Junior Championships 200;
2002: 1st, Under 17 Carifta and CAC Juniors, 200/400
2003: 1st, World Youth Championships 200
2003: 1st Pan-Am Junior 200
2003: 1st Carifta, 200/400
2004: 1st Carifta 200 (WJR19.93)
2005: 1st CAC senior, 200


Prepared by Hubert Lawrence and Garfield Samuels for the IAAF Focus on Athletes project. © IAAF 2007