There is always an excitement and anticipation surrounding the track events at the Olympics and we have picked out five of the greatest ever performances to have been witnessed at the Games.
5) Nadezhda Olizarenko – Moscow 1980
Olizarenko sadly passed away at the age of 63 in 2017 but her legacy in the world of athletics still remains to this very day, with her time in the 800m set at the 1980 Olympics yet to be beaten at the Games.
Representing the Soviet Union, Olizarenko completed two laps of the track in 1:53.43, claiming the gold medal, and her Olympic record has stood for 41 years.
Barring world record holder Jarmila Kratochvilova in 1983, only two athletes, Pamela Jelimo of Kenya (2008) and Caster Semenya of South Africa (2018), have come within a second of Olizarenko’s mark since it was set.
4) Usain Bolt – Beijing 2008
To be honest, you could pick any of Usain Bolt’s gold medal performances on this list. He has a massive eight to choose from! But, his display in the 100m and 200m in Beijing was, to put it simply, magnificent.
There was huge excitement surrounding the Jamaican heading into the 2008 Olympics and he didn’t disappoint, setting an Olympic record of 19.30 seconds in the 200m that still stands to this day.
Bolt also claimed gold in the 100m in Olympic record time, sensationally easing down towards the line, and that double was just the start of a sensational sprinting career.
3) Sir Mo Farah – Rio de Janeiro 2016
Mo Farah became a star for Great Britain in 2012 when winning double Olympic gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m, etching his name into the history books, but it was his display four years later that rubber-stamped his legacy.
With the weight of a nation on his shoulders, the now-38-year-old managed to defend his 10,000m title despite falling on the 10th lap when accidentally clipped on the back of the heel by American training partner Galen Rupp.
Farah then went on to retain his 5,000m crown, making it only the second time someone has retained the 5000m and 10,000m Olympic titles, emulating Lasse Viren of Finland in 1972 and 1976.
2) Florence Griffith Joyner – Seoul 1988
The second female to feature on the list is Florence Griffith Joyner, who tragically passed away in her sleep as the result of an epileptic seizure in 1998 at the age of 38.
The American, who also won gold in the 4x100m and 100m in Seoul, produced a sublime performance in the 200m to claim the top prize in a world record time of 21.34 seconds, which has stood for 33 years.
Griffith Joyner also won the 100m in record time and that wasn’t beaten until the current Olympics in Tokyo, where Jamaican Elaine Thompson Herah landed gold in 10.61 seconds.
1) Usain Bolt – London 2012
The number one position had to go to Bolt, who features on this list for the second time. Having won 100m and 200m gold in Beijing, there was the added pressure and expectation on the legendary sprinter.
Although Bolt defended his 200m crown, he couldn’t set a new Olympic record, but he made amends for that in the 100m when bettering his time from four years ago, winning gold in 9.63 seconds.
Incredibly, the Jamaican would complete the feat again in Rio, completing the treble-treble, before retiring after the 2017 World Championships.