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Usain Bolt of Jamaica has won three consecutive titles (2008–16).

Four other athletes have won back-to-back titles: Wyomia Tyus (1964–68), Carl Lewis (1984–88), Gail Devers (1992–96), and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (2008–12).

The 100 metres at the Summer Olympics has been contested since the first edition of the multi-sport event.

The men's 100 m has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1896 and the women's 100 m has been held continuously since its introduction at the 1928 Games.

The 100 metres is considered one of the blue ribbon events of the Olympics and is among the highest profile competitions at the games.

It is the most prestigious 100 m race at elite level and is the shortest sprinting competition at the Olympics – a position it has held at every edition except for a brief period between 19, when a men's 60 metres was contested.

The first Olympic champions were both Americans: Thomas Burke in the men's category and, 32 years later, Betty Robinson in the women's category.

The most recent winners of the event, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, were Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – the two Jamaican athletes both successfully defended their titles from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The world records for the event have been equalled or broken during the Olympics on seven occasions in the men's category and on twelve occasions in the women's.

Among the competing nations, the United States has had the most success in this event, having won sixteen golds in the men's race and nine in the women's race.

African-American and Afro-Caribbean men and women have had particular success in the Olympic event since the mid-20th century.

The last male finalist who was not of predominantly African heritage was Allan Wells in 1980; Wells was Olympic champion that year.

Two of the highest profile doping scandals have involved the Olympic 100 m competition: Ben Johnson won the 1988 Olympic 100 m title in a world record time of 9.79 seconds but was later stripped of the titles after failing a drug test.