Usain Bolt: Gold in 200m Would Establish Jamaican as Best Sprinter of All Time

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IAugust 8, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after competing in the Men's 200m Round 1 Heats on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 7, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

If Usain Bolt isn't already the best sprinter in history, he will be after he wins yet another gold medal in the 200-meter sprint. 

Sure, the finals for the highly-anticipated race haven't even been set yet, but if Bolt wants to win the gold, he'll win the gold. Countryman Yohan Blake presents a stiff challenge for Bolt, but the world-record holder is a heavy favorite to take home his fifth Olympic gold medal.

The 25-year-old has the propensity to slow down at times, and that could eventually bite him on the behind, but as long as his head is screwed on tightly, he will run faster than everyone. He will win gold.

That gold would propel Bolt past Carl Lewis, his stiffest competition for the title of best sprinter of all time. 

If you wanted to simply go by times, there's no question that Bolt is already the greatest ever. Just look at each man's personal bests:

Lewis' best times in the 100 and 200 respectively were 9.86 and 19.75 seconds.

Bolt's are 9.58 and 19.19, both world records. That's a significant difference. 

Comparing times, however, isn't necessarily fair. With the change in technology and clothing over, it's a little like comparing apples and oranges, even if Bolt's apple is, nonetheless, far more impressive than Lewis' orange. 

So, in this instance, we must compare medals and how each man was able to dominate the rest of the competition of his time period.

Lewis of course, has nine Olympic golds, but not all of those are relevant for this conversation. Four have come from the long jump, and while Lewis is without a doubt the greater Olympian, he and Bolt are very close when it comes to just the track. 

If you just look at individual sprinting medals, Lewis has two golds in the 100, one gold in the 200 and one silver in the 200.

With his impressive victory on Sunday, Bolt drew even with the same three gold medals in the exact same timespan. A win in the 200, however, would put the Jamaican just a notch above Lewis in terms of medal count.

Another win in the 4x100 relay would just be the cherry on top for Bolt. 

Bolt could fall and his face during Thursday's 200 and still legitimately be in the conversation for the best sprinter of all time.

He has the best times, but another gold would put him at the top of the medal ladder, ending the debate once and for all. 

No pressure.