Interestingly, Usain Bolt is not the best track and field athlete of the decade. According to United States-based publication Track and Field News, considered themselves Bible of the Sport Since 1948, Kenyan David Rudisha, is the top athlete ahead of Bolt.
The magazine described rankings as “tough decisions” while adding it was “by the thinnest of margins imaginable the decision came down in favour of the Kenyan half-mile ace.”
The magazine listed Rudisha’s accomplishment, in the last ten years, 2010 to 2019.
It described as “a marvellous string to open the decade, Rudisha was it’s Athlete Of The Year in three straight years (2010–12), a feat only ever matched by Carl Lewis.”
Rudisha, during the time, broken the 800m World Record three times (1:41.09, 1:41.01, 1:40.91), and according to Track and Field News, “the last of them being chosen as our Performance Of The Decade.”
Rudisha also won two Olympic Games gold medals, London 2012 and Rio 2016. Adding to that, he took World Championships titles in Daegu 2011 and Beijing 2015.
Meanwhile, Bolt, the only sprinter to win Olympic 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016), along with two 4×100 relay gold medals, finished in second place.
“Even though his WR-setting years came in that previous decade, the world’s fastest human nonetheless made an impact on the all-time lists, producing the second-fastest 100 ever, 9.63, and the Nos. 5 & 6 clockings in the 200 (19.32, 19.40),” said Track and Field News.
“He dominated the World Rankings in each of the dashes, scoring 1-1-1-2-2-2-3 in the 100 and 1-1-1-1-1-3 in the 200.”
Christian Taylor, the American triple jumper, who scored more World Rankings points (89 out of 100) in the decade than any other man, was third on the list. He won two Olympic Games titles and four at the World Championships.
Mo Farah (Great Britain), who won four Olympic gold medals at 5000m, 10,000m, and six World Championships top honours, finished fourth on the list
American Ashton Eaton, winner of two Olympic Games and as many world titles in the decathlon, rounded off the top five.
South African Wayde van Niekerk, winner of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in a record 43.04, finished sixth on the list. He also won world titles in Beijing 2015 and London 2017.
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