On your mark…get set…GO! Do those words send a shiver down your spine as you anticipate the excitement of a good old-fashioned foot race? Since the earliest days, school yards all over the world have been the site of impromptu races between students.

Today, running remains a popular form of exercise enjoyed by people of all ages. While some people prefer to walk or jog and others prefer long-distance endurance races, some people still prefer the thrill of the quick sprint.

A key event in high school track and field competitions, as well as at college-level and Olympic competitions, is the 100-meter sprint. In America, you might have heard this race referred to as the 100-yard dash, since Americans don’t always use the metric system. One hundred yards equates to only 91.4 meters, so the 100-yard dash is actually a shorter race.

The 100-meter dash is usually the shortest race, yet it remains one of the most popular and prestigious events in the world of sports. In fact, the winner of the 100-meter dash at the Olympics is usually considered “the fastest man/woman in the world.”

Currently, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the reigning 100-meter dash champion at both the Olympics and the world championships. Given those titles, many consider her to be the fastest woman in the world.

Fraser-Pryce’s personal best time in the 100-meter dash was set in June 2012 in Kingston, Jamaica. She completed the race that day in a blistering 10.70 seconds. Given that time, however, Fraser-Pryce is not the fastest woman in history.

American Carmelita Jeter, who finished second to Fraser-Pryce at the London Olympics, has a personal best time of 10.64 seconds in the 100-meter dash. While extremely fast, Jeter is also not the fastest woman in history.

That title belongs to the one and only Florence Griffith-Joyner. Known as “Flo-Jo” by her many fans, Griffith-Joyner still holds the all-time world record in the 100-meter dash at 10.49 seconds set in 1988. Although some people dispute that record due to possible wind conditions and allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, the record still stands.

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