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World Record-Breaking Athletes Compared To Animals

On August 21st, Sha'Carri Richardson, a track and field sprinter field from the United States, secured the title of the fastest woman globally. She achieved this remarkable feat by clinching victory in the 100-meter event at the 2023 Track and Field World Championships. Throughout history, a select few exceptionally talented individuals have accomplished extraordinary athletic achievements that seem beyond the reach of us, ordinary people. However, how do these accomplishments compare to the incredible abilities of some of the world's most athletic animals?


  • Usain Bolt, widely acknowledged as the swiftest human on Earth, set a world record for the 100-meter sprint by reaching a speed of 44.72 kilometers per hour (27.7 MPH) in 2009. Despite this impressive human achievement, it still pales in comparison to the cheetah, an animal capable of reaching speeds up to 114.50 km/h (71.1 MPH).
  • In the realm of swimming, Michael Phelps, an iconic swimmer, attained a record-breaking top speed of 7.08 km/h (4.3 MPH) in the water. Nevertheless, his aquatic prowess is overshadowed by the sailfish, which can gracefully glide through the water at an astonishing speed of 110 km/h (68.3 MPH).
  • Consider the long jump, where Mike Powell's world record of 8.95 meters, established in 1991, falls short when compared to the astounding 15 meters achieved by the snow leopard.
  • Shifting to long-distance running, Eliud Kipchoge's triumphant conquest of the 2018 Berlin Marathon, marked by a record-breaking time of 2:01:39, is an extraordinary human achievement. Yet, this accomplishment loses some of its luster when contrasted with the swiftness of the ostrich, a creature that can cover the same marathon distance in a mere 45 minutes.

Below is the chart created by Statista that shows records of famous athletes compared to the animals.

World Record-Breaking Athletes Compared To Animals

To learn more about animals, have a look at the following books:




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