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?'”
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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