Jamaica's 4X100 relay gold medalist Usain Bolt (R) and Britain's 5000m gold medalist Mohamed Farah pose after the athletics event during the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 11, 2012 in London © Johannes Eisele/AFP/GettyImages

Head to head: Mo Farah vs Usain Bolt

Who is faster and who can run the furthest, Mo Farah or Usain Bolt? We look at the stats to find out who is the speediest runner.

MO FARAH versus USAIN BOLT
1.75m HEIGHT 1.95m
60kg WEIGHT 94kg
4 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALS 8
12.98s 100m 9.58s
 3min 56.49s MILE 4min 30s (estimate)

Usain Bolt is the fastest human in the world, but only up to 200m. His huge legs, packed with fast-twitch muscle fibres, allow explosive acceleration but they can’t sustain prolonged aerobic exertion, making them dead weights over longer distances. Usain Bolt has never actually run a mile, but most experts think he’d struggle to get a time under 4min 30s.

Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.