Local Event Sports Association

Standing a shade under six feet and three inches tall, Christophe Lemaitre has a gangly disposition at best; his 160 pound lithe frame belies the speed and momentum that it generates across the course of a hundred meters.

Yet the 20-year-old Frenchman from the Rhones-Alps region could have never imagined that no matter how fast he ran that fateful race at the French National Championships in Valence over a fortnight ago, the news of his race would travel around the world twice as fast.

You see, athletics has those fixed benchmarks that most sports lack—the measurement that sends a clear message to the outside world of how elite you really are. Until recently, the 100 meter sprint used to have that mark and it stood at 10 seconds for the longest period of time.

At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Jim Hines might have found himself a lot more famous had Bob Beamon not jumped the most astonishing jump in athletics history (relive it here ). The American ran the 100 meter sprint in 9.95 seconds thus becoming the fi...

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