A Runner That Makes Usain Bolt's 100-Meter Sprint Seem . . . . Painfully Slow!

By Meera Dolasia on August 5, 2012

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Olympics spoiler alert - Usain Bolt has been outrun! How do we know this before the world's fastest man has even run the finals of his signature 100-meter dash? Because, while Usain hopes to complete the distance in 9.4 seconds, Sarah has already done it in a blistering 5.95 seconds. However, in all fairness to the Jamaican sprinter, she does have a slight advantage, because Sarah is not a two-legged human, but a four-legged cheetah!

The 11-year old cat performed this mind-boggling run on the USA Track & Field certified course at the Cincinnati Zoo where she resides, on June 20th, 2012, during a special shoot organized by The National Geographic.

Competing with four other cheetahs, Sarah ran several 100 meter sprints, bolting out of the zoo's vans in pursuit of the fluffy toy dogs which were being pulled across the track by a high-speed cord. While Sarah's time was definitely impressive, the laggard, a young male teenage cat was not too shabby either (at least by human standards), rendering a best time of 9.7 seconds.

And while the rest of the world may be surprised at Sarah's rapid pace which National Geographic photo editor Kim Hubbard said made her look like a 'polka-dotted missile', Cathryn Hilker, founder of the Cincinnati Zoo's Cat Ambassador Program, who has helped raise Sarah from when she was a cub, is not surprised - She had always known that the feline had it in her to complete the dash in less than 6 seconds.

This is not the first time Sarah has rained on Usain's parade. Just a month after the sprinter stunned the world  with his 9.58 second 100m dash, she broke two records within a short time span of 15 minutes - first at 6.16 and then 6.13 seconds!

Cheetahs are the world's fastest land mammals. They can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles an hour in just three seconds. This sweltering pace added to their keen eyesight and ability to blend into the high dry grass in the African Savannah makes them very formidable hunters. With just between 9,000 to 12,000 left in the wild today, they are however a highly endangered species!

The Cincinnati Zoo, which is often dubbed 'The Cheetah Capital of the World' is one of four facilities in the United States that is trying to reverse this dire trend. Besides spreading the word about the danger of losing these spectacular cats, they have also developed a very successful breeding program. Over the last 20 years a total of 64 cheetah cubs have been born at the zoo, including Sarah, the fastest captive land mammal on earth!

Resources: Nationalgeographic.com, Dailymail.com.uk

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298 Comments
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  • ethan4/17/2014
    that cheetah is fast
    • peregrine falco4/7/2014
      LOVE CHEETAHS
      • stavonl
        stavonl3/4/2014
        In this passage Bolt and Cheetahs are both well known at running. The Olympics both compared them and its look like the cheetah out ran Bolt! At first , I was surprise the Olympics compared Bolt and the cheetahs in running , but I found out that those two are the fastest in the world.
        • Zico1/28/2014
          Usain bolt sucks
          • King Jimmie241/22/2014
            Bolt is the best at running
            • lukgoo
              lukgoo12/19/2013
              Bolt is pretty fast though.
              • leah2u
                leah2u12/9/2013
                this is so cool and crazy
                • 202212/6/2013
                  how fast.
                  • 4cmitchek
                    4cmitchek12/3/2013
                    Nice
                    • banana man11/14/2013
                      wow cool

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