Usain Bolt: Runners That Can Challenge World's Fastest Man in 200-Meter Final

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05:  Gold medalist Usain Bolt of Jamaica (L) celebrates with silver medalist Yohan Blake of Jamaica (R) after winning the Men's 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Julia Vynokurova/Getty Images)
Julia Vynokurova/Getty Images

Usain Bolt continues to do things no one has ever done at the London Olympics, but he better watch his back in the 200-meter final.

The Jamaican sprinter won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash for the second time in his career earlier this week. Now, he looks to add some more hardware by defending his title in the 200-meter race.

While Bolt will be the overwhelming favorite in this competition as the defending champion and world record holder, there are a few other athletes in the race that will challenge for gold.


Wallace Spearman, USA

After a disappointing finish in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Spearman is looking to redeem himself in London. 

The American finished third in the 200-meter final, but he was disqualified for committing a lane violation. Four years later, he will make sure he does not make the same mistake twice.

Spearman finished with the second-fastest qualifying time in the semifinals, but he will need to move even faster if he wants to medal. Despite his skill, he will need to run the fastest race of his life to compete for a gold.


Christophe Lemaitre, France

Lemaitre has been a little unheralded so far in these Olympics, but he is one of the fastest runners in this event. Among the finalists for the 200-meter dash, only Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt have run faster times in 2012.

The French sprinter finished third in the 2011 World Championships behind a personal best 19.80. This time should get him close to the medal stand, but he needs to shave a few tenths off to be sure. 

He proved in the earlier heats that he is good at closing late on his competition, although he needs to make sure the other runners are not out of reach before he can come back.


Yohan Blake, Jamaica

Out of the entire field, Yohan Blake provides the toughest test for Bolt. He defeated his compatriot in the Jamaican Olympic trials and finished with the silver medal in the 100-meter dash.

In the 200-meter event, Blake has been just as good. His personal best of 19.26 seconds is only 0.07 seconds behind Bolt's world record. In the semifinals, he finished with the best time in the field despite slowing down dramatically over the last 20 meters.

He will get out to a good start, the question is if he can stay with Usain Bolt throughout the race.