Olympics 2021: Who will take Usain Bolt's crown as 100m champion?

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·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
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Usain Bolt (pictured right) has picked Trayvon Bromell (pictured left) as his tip for the 100m at the Tokyo Olympic Games. (Getty Images)
Usain Bolt (pictured right) has picked Trayvon Bromell (pictured left) as his tip for the 100m at the Tokyo Olympic Games. (Getty Images)

Many fans will find it odd not seeing Usain Bolt dominate the 100m sprint at the Olympic Games this year, but the absence of the fastest man ever leaves the door open for another star to showcase a flash of lightning.

Bolt captured the hearts of the world at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing after thundering home, with his trademark smile, to claim the 100m gold medal.

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The Jamaican sprinter then created one of the most iconic moments in Olympic history after storming home at the 2012 London Olympics and easing over the finish line.

After repeating his effort at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Bolt finished with eight Olympic medals (including three consecutive 100m gold medals).

But following the fastest man alive's retirement in 2017, the blue ribbon event at the Tokyo Olympics offers one star a chance to become a household name.

While Bolt does not believe his World Record is in any danger of being broken, it is inevitable the gold medal will go a new sprinter.

"The fact I get to watch, it's wonderful and it's a breath of fresh air for me," Bolt told The Associated Press.

"But I'm competitive. And just to see somebody going out there and winning the 100 metres without me is going to be weird. But I'm excited to watch."

One of Bolt's favourites in the 100m at the rescheduled Tokyo Games will be Trayvon Bromell, who won the event last weekend at the US Olympic track and field trials.

Bolt is a fan of Bromell's comeback story.

Trayvon Bromell (pictured) reacts after winning the Men's 100 Meter Final on day three of the 2020 US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials.
Trayvon Bromell (pictured) reacts after winning the Men's 100 Meter Final on day three of the 2020 US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Bromell was an up-and-comer who finished tied for third at the 2015 world championships in a race Bolt won when he passed Justin Gatlin at the line for a .01-second victory.

But Bromell dealt with persistent Achilles-heel issues following the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games that kept him on the sideline for chunks of time.

Yet Bromell has returned even stronger and posted a time of 9.80 at the US Olympic trials, and the best time in 2021 of 9.77 at the NACAC Invitational.

"Bromell is showing great promise," said Bolt, who shares an agent with Bromell. 

"I must say, it's something I'm looking forward to. He's been a talent over the years and proven himself to be good. But he's had some bad injuries. He's showing up this season. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the Olympics."

Other favourites at the Tokyo Olympic 100m

But Bromell isn't the only one who could claim Bolt's gold at the 100m event.

American Ronnie Baker finished behind Bromell with a time of 9.85 seconds, while third placed at the US Men's trial was Fred Kerley with 9.86.

Both will be licking their lips after a very close race with Bromell at the trials.

Another popular pick was 23-year-old American Noah Lyles, but he failed to qualify in the US Men's trials.

Canada's Andre De Grasse (pictured) celebrates after the men's 100 Yard.
Canada's Andre De Grasse (pictured) will be a favourite at the 100m Tokyo Olympic event. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)

One of Bolt's greatest rivals, Justin Gatlin, fell agonisingly short in making his fourth Olympic Games at the age of 39, after he failed to make the US Men's team.

This leaves the door wide open for another favourite, 26-year-old Canadian Andre de Grasse.

The bronze medalist at the Doha World Championships in 2019, de Grasse's PB is 9.90 (only four tenths slower than Lyles' PB) and could be set to shock the world.

Tokyo Olympics 200m favourites

World champion Lyles was favourite to take Bolt's gold in the 200m, but 17-year-old superstar Erriyon Knighton could be set for Olympic history.

Knighton left the athletics world gobsmacked after bettering a second Usain Bolt record in less than one month in the lead up to the Olympics.

Noah Lyles (pictured right) raising his hand after winning the Men's 200 Meter Final ahead of Erriyon Knighton (pictured left).
Noah Lyles (pictured right) winning the Men's 200 Meter Final ahead of Erriyon Knighton (pictured left) during day ten of the 2020 US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

The 17-year-old - who only recently ran 20.11 to break Bolt's World U18 record of 20.13 - went even faster in the semi-finals of the 200m sprint at the US Olympic trials.

But Lyle bounced back to claim the final in a world-lead 19.74 seconds.

Lyle is still firm favourite for the 200m event.

Regardless, Knighton signalled his intention in the trials with a then-personal best of 20.04 to beat world champion Lyles, who ran 20.19.

But the former college football star set another stunning personal best in the semi-finals - clocking an astonishing 19.88 to break Jamaican Olympic legend Bolt's 19.93 world junior record.

De Grasse, who made his name in the 200m at Rio when he made Bolt work harder for the gold, will also be looking to improve his time and grab the limelight.

With the American US Olympic trials delivering remarkable results, and the rest of the world preparing ahead of July, the Tokyo Olympics is set for an exciting 100m and 200m spectacle.

with AAP

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