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Olympic fastest of the fast prepare to take their marks

As the event that identifies the fastest person on the world's grandest athletic stage, the men's Olympic 100-meter dash competition is traditionally one of the most-watched races at any summer Games. This year surely will be no different, with three sprinters – Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, and American Tyson Gay – entering Friday's preliminaries in possession of eight of the best times in history (the final follows on Saturday). Bolt currently holds the world record with a 9.72-second clocking, but setting (or tying) a world record and winning a gold medal in the same year isn't a given. The nine times it has happened, with the sprinter, the country he represented, and his world record time, in seconds:1932:

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Eddie Tolan (US) 10.31936:

Jesse Owens (US) 10.21956:

• Bobby Morrow (US) 10.21960:

Armin Hary (Germany) 10.01964:

Bob Hayes (US) 10.01968:

James Hines (US) 9.951988:

Carl Lewis (US) 9.921996:

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Donovan Bailey (Canada) 9.842000:

Maurice Greene (US) 9.79

Compiled by Corinne Chronopoulos