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Olympic Track and Field 2012: Power Ranking Men's 100M Contenders After Round 1

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica  looks on duing the Men's 100m Round 1 Heats on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2012

The top contenders for the gold in the men's 100 meters at the 2012 Olympics is coming into focus at the end of completion of Round 1. 

Of course, it would be foolish to put too much stock into the numbers posted by these elite sprinters. Few of them have begun to run all out yet, but it still offers us a glimpse of their form, and it is a decent base of comparison. 

So with these guys already having hit the track, here are my latest power ranking in the race to be crowned the world's fastest man. 

 

4. Ryan Bailey, USA

Ryan Bailey hasn't been getting a lot of press on his chances of winning gold here. Shoot, he is largely an afterthought on his team, but that should all change now as Bailey turned in Round 1's fastest time at 9.88 seconds. 

The 9.88 was his personal best, and it set a new U.S. Olympics heat record. Bailey ran this race hard, and it is going to be tough for him to make a big jump up in time, but this kind of speed definitely means he is in play for a medal. 

 

3. Tyson Gay, USA

Tyson Gay won his heat with a hard, but smooth run, which led to a time of 10.08. There is nothing about that time that is eye-popping, but it was a good sign just to see Gay, who has struggled with injuries and is dealing with a surgically-repaired hip, comfortable on the track.

I have little doubt that Gay has another gear in store for the finals. It will take the race of his life to win gold, but he is looking great to at least emerge with a medal. 

 

2. Yohan Blake, Jamaica 

Current world champ Yohan Blake deserves to be No. 1. He is in great form and easily turned in a 10.00 in Round 1, and his recent performances have had him crossing the finish line ahead of the only man in front of him on this list, Usain Bolt.

At the Jamaican Olympics Trials, Blake won the race as he turned in a time of 9.75, which took down Bolt's 9.86.

It would be shocking if Blake didn't finish at least second, but here is why he is not No. 1 on this list. 

 

1. Usain Bolt, Jamaica 

 Usain Bolt, the world record holder and defending Olympics champion in the 100 meters, is having a subpar year. As was just mentioned, he didn't even win his national Olympics trials. However, he looked fantastic in his Round 1 run. 

Bolt posted a pedestrian 10.09 in his run, but this isn't about his time. He had a terrible start, as he had a slight stumble and only five other runners had a slower start time. Also, as Bolt is known to do, he coasted the last 20 meters of this race. 

In Beijing in 2008, Bolt's opening run was an even slower 10.20. It is pretty clear that Bolt has another gear here, and while he struggles with his starts, he is unlikely to struggle as badly as he did in this run. 

Bolt is not going to be beat, and as a result, he will join Carl Lewis as the only men to win Olympics gold in the 100 in back-to-back Olympics. 

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