100m is the classic sprint race distance. The reigning 100m world record holder is often named "the fastest man/woman in the world". A distance of 100 yards was often run in the past, but this is now virtually obsolete.
On an outdoor 400m running track, the 100m is run on the home straight. Many 60m prodigies lose to seasoned 100m runners, as training needs to be done in order to maintain form and power through this race. Beginners can actually become winded after running this distance. Indoors, this race holds little importance as the curvature of the track takes away from the athletes' ability to perform, and instead a straight 60m is usually run as an equivalent.
Major 100m races, such as at the Olympic Games, attract much attention, particularly when the world record is thought to be within reach. The record has only been broken a handful of times since the introduction of electronic timing in 1968, and never by more than 0.05 seconds at a time. The current world record holder is Tim Montgomery of the United States, who ran a time of 9.78 seconds in Paris on September 14, 2002. The reigning Olympic champion is Justin Gatlin of the United States.
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