Christian Coleman’s sprint reign begins with world indoor title (video)

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Christian Coleman‘s time is now.

The U.S. Olympian won the 60m at the world indoor championships in Birmingham, Great Britain, on Saturday, his first of what could be years’ worth of global gold medals.

Coleman clocked 6.37 seconds to top China’s Su Bingtian by .05 of a second. Coleman is the only man to run faster than 6.39 all time, and he’s done it three times in the last two months (twice under world-record conditions).

Coleman was merely a preliminary 4x100m relay runner in Rio after his sophomore year at the University of Tennessee, but his last year has been incredible:

*A 40-yard dash one tenth faster than the NFL Combine record
*Swept NCAA 60m, 100m and 200m titles
*Second at the 2017 U.S. Outdoor Championships in the 100m and 200m
*100m silver medal at 2017 World Outdoor Championships between Justin Gatlin and Usain Bolt
In 2018, ran faster than the 60m world record three times

Gatlin, who skipped the indoor season, is an aged 36. Bolt retired. Coleman, who turns 22 on Tuesday, has to be the early 2020 Olympic 100m favorite.

“I want to make sure I etch my name in history,” Coleman told media before taking a congratulatory phone call from 2000 Olympic 100m champion Maurice Greene, reportedly adding, “I have a good chance to lead the sport in the post-Bolt era.”

On Friday, Coleman said, “I don’t want to be the, you know, next Usain Bolt; I want to be Christian Coleman and, in a few years from now, maybe have people saying, ‘Who’s going to be the next Christian Coleman?'”

WORLD INDOORS: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

In other events Saturday, Kendra Harrison won her first global meet medal, a gold in the 60m hurdles. Harrison tied the American record of 7.70 seconds. She shockingly missed the 2016 Olympic team (then broke the 100m hurdles world record at her next meet) and was fourth at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships.

American Sandi Morris won the pole vault with a 4.95-meter clearance. Morris took silver at the most recent world indoor and world outdoor championships and the Rio Olympics.

Will Claye ended his silver streak in the triple jump, leaping 17.43 meters to edge the silver and bronze medalists by two and three centimeters, respectively. Claye took silver at the last two Olympics and last year’s worlds, all behind fellow American Christian Taylor, who is not entered at world indoors.

Courtney Okolo won the 400m in 50.55 seconds, making her the fourth-fastest American all time. Shakima Wimbley made it a U.S. one-two. None of the top five women from the 2016 Olympics or 2017 World Outdoor Championships were entered in Birmingham.

Sydney McLaughlin, who made the 2016 U.S. Olympic team in the 400m hurdles at age 16, remains the fastest woman in the 400m this season with her 50.52 from last week. McLaughlin is also not at world indoors.

Ethiopian world-record holder Genzebe Dibaba won the 1500m in 4:05.27, adding to her 3000m title from Thursday. Dibaba won either the 1500m or 3000m at the 2012, 2014 and 2016 World Indoors, but this was her first double.

American Drew Windle took silver in the 800m behind Poland’s Adam Kszczot. Windle was disqualified for obstruction shortly after the final and reinstated two hours later.

The original men’s 400m gold and silver medalists, Spain’s Óscar Husillos and Dominican Luguelín Santos, were also later disqualified. More than a dozen runners overall were disqualified for stepping on lane lines or obstruction through three days of the four-day meet.

World outdoor decathlon champion Kevin Mayer of France won the indoor equivalent heptathlon by a mere five points over Canadian Damian Warner.

World Indoors concludes Sunday on NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and NBC Sports Gold.

World Indoors marks the lone global meet of the year, since outdoor worlds are held in odd-numbered years, and the next Olympics are in 2020.

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VIDEO: All runners disqualified in world indoors 400m race

Mikaela Shiffrin wins final slalom for best career season (video)

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Mikaela Shiffrin won her 12th World Cup race this season and seventh slalom, both personal bests, at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden, on Saturday.

Shiffrin, who clinched her second World Cup overall title and fifth slalom season title before the last races of the campaign this weekend, prevailed by 1.58 seconds over Swiss Wendy Holdener. PyeongChang gold medalist Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was third.

“The slalom has always been really close to my heart,” said Shiffrin, who won the last two slaloms this season after a shocking fourth-place finish in PyeongChang. “To finish with a run like that was super special.”

Full results are here.

Shiffrin matched Lindsey Vonn‘s American record for World Cup wins in one season — 12 — with one more race Sunday. Only Swiss Vreni Schneider has more women’s World Cup wins in a single campaign with 14.

Shiffrin, who turned 23 on Tuesday, also moved into solo fifth place on the women’s World Cup wins list with 43, including 23 victories in the last two seasons.

If Shiffrin keeps it up, she can move into the top three next season, though Lindsey Vonn‘s record 82 is a ways off.

“I’m not thinking about that so much,” Shiffrin said. “It’s way too soon to set that as my goal.”

Shiffrin is also three World Cup slalom wins shy of the record 35 held by retired Austrian Marlies Schild, whom Shiffrin supplanted as the world’s top slalom skier in 2013.

The World Cup Finals conclude Sunday with the women’s giant slalom. Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will air live coverage of the second run at 7:30 a.m. ET.

“After today I’m really looking forward to going to the start one more time this season and hammering down,” Shiffrin said.

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Katie Ledecky beaten in NCAA Championships individual medley

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Katie Ledecky lost an NCAA Championships race for the first time in eight career finals, taking second in the 400-yard individual medley on Friday.

Stanford teammate Ella Eastin easily beat Ledecky by 3.69 seconds and grabbed the American and NCAA records from Ledecky, too. Eastin’s 3:54.60 is 1.93 seconds faster than Ledecky’s time from the Pac-12 Championships last month.

How did she do it?

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Eastin said on ESPNU. “I’ve built a lot of endurance this year, and it really showed.”

Eastin is decorated in her own right. She three-peated as NCAA 400-yard IM champion and held the American record in the event before Ledecky lowered it last month.

Eastin would have made the 2017 World Championships team had she not been disqualified for an illegal turn after finishing in second place at nationals.

Ledecky, a sophomore, has never contested the 400m IM at a U.S. Championships, Olympics or world championships, nor did she race the 400-yard IM at 2017 NCAAs. She raced the 400 IM instead of the 200 freestyle on Friday.

All of Ledecky’s races at major meets before Friday were in freestyle events. Her only defeat in a major international meet individual final was the 200m freestyle at 2017 Worlds.

Ledecky won five NCAA titles last year and the last two nights anchored the 800-yard freestyle relay and captured the 500-yard freestyle by eight seconds.

Meet results are here.

Later Friday, Lilly King of Indiana three-peated in the 100-yard breaststroke, breaking her American and NCAA records and winning in 56.25 seconds. King is also the Olympic and world champion in the 100m breast, plus the world-record holder.

“Always excited to get the record, but was really hoping to break 56 today,” King said.

Louisville’s Mallory Comerford became the second woman after Missy Franklin to break 1:40 in the 200-yard freestyle, winning in 1:39.80. Co-Olympic 100m free champ Simone Manuel of Stanford was third. Comerford and Ledecky tied for the 2017 NCAA 200 free title.

Stanford’s Ally Howe won the 100-yard backstroke in 49.70, one hundredth shy of her NCAA and American records. Olympic 100m backstroke silver medalist Kathleen Baker of Cal-Berkeley was third.

NCAAs conclude Saturday. Ledecky swims the 1,650-yard freestyle. She is the overwhelming favorite, having gone 35 seconds faster than anyone this season.

Ledecky hasn’t discussed with Stanford whether she will return for her junior season or turn pro, according to the school.

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