|Events||100m, 200m 4 x 100m relay|
|Credentials||Won both the 100m and 200m at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka.|
|Events||100m, 4 x 100m relay|
|Credentials||Set the world 100m record of 9.74 seconds in 2007. Eager to make up for his disappointing 100m bronze medal performance at the 2007 IAAF World Championships.|
|Events||100, 200m 4 x 100m relay|
|Credentials||Better known as a 200m runner, he holds the Jamaican record at 19.75 seconds. Broke Powell's world 100m record in New York City this year with a time of 9.72 seconds.|
|Credentials||Silver medalist at the 2003 IAAF World Championships in Paris, he is 23 years old. Has a best time of 9.99 seconds but is showing early season form with a time of 10.02 seconds in Doha, Qatar.|
|Credentials||Surprised everyone with a silver medal performance behind Gay at the 2007 IAAF World Championships. Won the Bahamian Olympic trials in a wind aided 9.98|
On A Roll
In his first year in the 100m Usain Bolt, the 21-year-old Jamaican, has displayed tremendous form worthy of a gold medal. He has yet to confirm he will race this distance, preferring his specialty, the 200m. If he does he will be a formidable opponent.
On A Slide
Tyson Gay finished 2007 with three gold medals at the world championships (100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay) and was seemingly unbeatable. But a loss to Bolt in New York, where the Jamaican beat the world record, took him by surprise. Then his failure to finish the 200m semi-final at the U.S. Olympic trials due to a hamstring strain lowered the odds of winning in Beijing.
The X Factor
Sprinters must run heats, quarter finals and semi finals over two days before making it to the final. That can often prove the undoing of even the fastest. Powell finished 3rd in Osaka but later broke his own world record, raising the question again as to whether he can handle championship running. It is also why Bolt is being non-committal about the 100m-200m double.
A year ago at the IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Anson Henry made the 100m semi-final. Although Jared Connaughton is Canada's fastest at 10.15 seconds he did not qualify for the 100m and will contest the 200m. A semi-final performance is about as much as we can expect from Henry.
Three or more athletes are capable of dipping below 9.8 seconds: Bolt and Powell, who have set world records of 9.72 and 9.74 seconds respectively, and world champion Tyson Gay whose best of 9.84 seconds came in winning the U.S. championships last year. His winning time at the world championships in Osaka was 9.85 seconds. And he had a sub 9.7 clocking albeit with a gale force wind at his back.
Some of the pressure was removed from Gay's when he lost to Bolt in the world record race in New York. That could be a good thing when it comes to expectations in Beijing.