Even Usain Bolt, currently the fastest man in the world, couldn’t outpace greyhounds, cheetahs, or the pronghorn antelope, finds a light-hearted comparison of the extraordinary athleticism of humans and animals in the Veterinary Record.
As Olympic competition starts in earnest today, Craig Sharp from the Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Brunel University, highlights a range of animals whose speed and strength easily trumps that of our most elite athletes.
- Usain Bolt ran 100 metres in 9.58 seconds; a cheetah ran the same distance in 5.8 seconds
- Usain Bolt ran 200 metres in 19.19 seconds; a cheetah covered the same distance in 6.9 seconds, Black Caviar (racehorse) in 9.98 seconds, and a greyhound in 11.2 seconds
- Michael Johnson ran the 400 metres in 43.18 seconds compared with 19.2 seconds for a racehorse and 21.4 seconds for a greyhound
- David Rushida ran 800 metres in 1 minute 41 seconds, compared with 33 seconds for the pronghorn antelope and 49.2 seconds for a greyhound
- An endurance horse ran a full marathon in 1 hour 18 minutes and 29 seconds, compared with the 2 hours, 3 minutes and 38 second record of Patrick Makau Musyoki
- In the long jump, a red kangaroo has leapt 12.8 metres compared to the 8.95 metres Mike Powell achieved. Its high jump of 3.1 metres exceeds Javier Sotomayor’s at 2.45, who is also trumped by the snakehead fish, which can leap 4 metres out of the water