An Olympic cheetah at the Cincinnati Zoo called Sarah broke the cheetah world record for the 100 meeter dash last week, clocking in at 5.95 seconds. That’s almost twice as fast as Usain Bolt, who ran the 100 in 9.63 seconds this weekend and in 2009 set the human world record in Germany at 9.58 seconds.
That noted, Sarah does have a few advantages over Bolt, namely her flexible spine, long gate and two extra legs. Cheetahs can also “switch gears” says Live Science, “striding more frequently at higher speeds.”
Sarah also has the advantage of chasing a “fluffy toy lure” which was dangled out in front of her during the race, while Bolt has only his past records to chase down—a rather abstract bait.
This is not to downplay Sarah’s prowess. As Fox News explained:
The sprint broke Sarah’s previous world record, set in 2009 when she ran the same distance in 6.13 seconds. That sprint broke the previous record set in 2001, when a male South African cheetah named Nyana ran 100 meters in 6.19 seconds.
Sarah is also part of the zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program, which sounds like a prestigious job for a cat.