PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — There was no doubt Trayvon Bromell won. The American even ran backward down his lane in his exuberance.
Still, he had to wait and wait some more for it to become official.
Bromell captured the 60m title at the World Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday night in a race that was so close that it took several minutes to determine the rest of the medalists.
Bromell finished in 6.47 seconds and had the flag draped around him as he waited to see who would join him in celebration. When everything was sorted out, Asafa Powell of Jamaica was moved up to second and Ramon Gittens of Barbados third, just ahead of China’s Xie Zhenye and Su Bingtian.
A nearly 40-year-old Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis was originally announced as the runner-up before slipping to eighth in a field that was missing Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin.
Those two were absent by choice. The Russians weren’t here because of pending doping and corruption charges. The absence of one of track’s top nations could be a glimpse of what the Rio Olympics might be like, should the country not be reinstated in time to compete.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada had the race of the night, making up major ground in the 800m to win pentathlon gold. Her husband, Ashton Eaton, leads the heptathlon after the first day, but is slightly off his world-record pace.
“Being able to celebrate this with him is really awesome and the cherry on top,” said Theisen-Eaton, who beat Anastasiya Mokhnyuk of Ukraine by 34 points.
In other finals, Nia Ali of the U.S. defended her title in the 60-meter hurdles by holding off teammate Brianna Rollins, while Brittney Reese of the U.S. used a powerful final leap to capture the long jump.
Tomas Walsh of New Zealand won the shot put, ending an American domination in the event at the world indoors that began in 2004. Even more, his coach won’t have to make good on a bet.
The stakes were this: If Walsh threw the shot over 21.80 meters, his coach would have to grow a handlebar mustache. Walsh’s top throw was 21.78.
“Me and him like to have these bets,” Walsh said. “It’s a great start to hopefully a good year for me.”
Bromell is a rising talent in a deep U.S. sprinting pool. He captured a share of the bronze medal at the World Outdoor Championships last season in Beijing.
“I felt comfortable and I just kept going,” Bromell said. “I was going to run into the Portland sign [at the end of the track] so I could win this race.”
It was a little bit of a heartbreaker for Collins, who tumbled from a silver medal all the way to last place after the review. He still became the oldest male to make a final at the world indoors, taking over the honor from American Bernard Lagat, who was a few months over 39 when he made the final of the 3,000 meters in 2014, according to the IAAF.
“Age is age,” said Collins, who will turn 40 next month. “But again, I work so hard to take care of my body. Worked so hard to give me back that goodness.”
He has no plans to retire anytime soon, either.
“I have to find that next person to pass the flag on to,” Collins said. “You don’t want to leave a blank space in history. You want to make sure someone takes over where I left off. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Never in the history of the world indoors has a Jamaican man won the 60m. Powell was trying to end that streak.
“It’s kind of surprising, because the last couple of years we’ve had a lot of great sprinters,” Powell said.
But he’s encouraged that he has more time to try to accomplish that feat. After all, he’s only 33 and still has years left, based on what Collins is accomplishing.
“People think once you get to the age of 30, you’re old,” Powell said. “He’s 40 and running his personal best. He’s proving to the world that 40 is not old.”