Recent results suggest Australian distance running is in an exciting renaissance phase. Three runners have stood out and recently produced Australian records on the world stage.
The greatest sprinter in history goes again this weekend at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Jamaican superstar sprinter Usain Bolt says it’s the last time he’ll be running the 100 metres (he’s skipping the 200m) and is determined to go out unbeaten. But Andre De Grasse, the Canadian flyer, will no doubt want to deny him that honour.
Like Bolt, De Grasse is a slow starter, and like Bolt, he’s at his best after the start/drive phase.
De Grasse’s speed comes from outstanding biomechanical abilities. He’s able to hold a very high stride rate which, at five-foot-nine, helps him compete with taller runners, like the six-foot-five Bolt.
And, again like Bolt, his wound-up pace from just past the halfway point is phenomenal. This late-finishing, come-from-behind ability is what makes these two sprinters so exciting to watch.
However, there’s a third man who’ll be very much in the mix – American Justin Gatlin.
Gatlin has got closer to his nemesis than anybody else. At the 2015 World Championships, and the 2016 Rio Olympics, Bolt pipped him by little more than a hair.
Gatlin is somebody else who wants to go out a winner, and it’ll be his last chance too – he’s well over 35. Bolt is 31 and De Grasse is only 22.
So hold onto your hat. This 100 metre showdown is going to be a hell of a race.