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

Jessie Diggins, inspired by Body Issue, shares eating disorder battle

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Jessie Diggins hopes to open a conversation about body image after appearing in ESPN the Magazine‘s “Body Issue.” The Olympic gold medalist detailed her own experience with an eating disorder as a teenager in what she called “the most important blog I’ll ever write.”

“When I was 18-19 years old, I had everything in the world going for me, but I struggled with confidence and didn’t love myself,” Diggins, now 26, wrote on her website. “I suffered from an eating disorder, and eventually sought help at a treatment center, checking in for a summer program that saved my life. So when I was approached about the ESPN issue, I thought “is this REALLY something I want to do? Will it bring back old memories? Will I be ok with everyone seeing my body exactly as it is?”

Diggins is remembered for winning the first U.S. Olympic cross-country skiing title with Kikkan Randall in PyeongChang (Here comes Diggins!). In the cross-country world, she’s also reputed for her bubbly presence, spreading glitter across her face and sharing it with fellow skiers before races.

She wants to be associated with much more.

“I want to be known not for going through an eating disorder, but for helping other women and men speak up when they need help and not feel judged for needing a friend to talk it through with,” Diggins wrote. “Statistically speaking, at least 6% of you reading this right now are struggling with disordered eating in some way. So to those of you for whom it feels like the end of the world, I can say this: it can, and it does, get better. I know, because I lived it. It will take more courage than most anything else in your life, but you can get better. And it’s worth it.”

Years before becoming a medal-winning athlete, Diggins checked into The Emily Program, a national leader for eating disorder treatment.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but also the most important,” she wrote. “Because it saved my life, in every way that a life can be saved. I learned that I was struggling with this so much because I needed an outlet for stress, and that it was ok to feel a range of emotions – that I could survive feeling pressured, stressed, unhappy, sad, or angry as well as feeling happy-go-lucky.”

Diggins called posing for the Body Issue “a full-circle moment.” ESPN says the Body Issue celebrates every shape and size of athletes in artful fashion.

“[It’s] a chance for me to use a large stage to waltz right up to the microphone and share a message that I think is extremely important, and long overdue,” Diggins wrote. “We need to open up the conversation about body image, self confidence, and disordered eating. It should not be a shameful thing, or a taboo topic. It’s more prevalent than people think, and perhaps making help easier to find and less difficult to ask for could save some lives.”

MORE: Biathlon legend retires with four Olympic golds

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Darya Domracheva, triple Olympic gold medalist in Sochi, retires

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Darya Domracheva, a triple 2014 Olympic gold medalist and Belarus’ most decorated Olympian, has retired from biathlon at age 31.

Domracheva is leaving the sport because she could not continue in biathlon while raising daughter Xenia with husband Ole Einar Bjørndalen, the 13-time Olympic medalist biathlete for Norway.

“All the time after the season, I was trying to find a compromise which would allow me to raise a child and combine with a professional career at the same time,” Domracheva said, according to the International Biathlon Union (IBU). “Unfortunately I did not find an optimal solution which would allow me to combine those two important life parts. This decision is well weighted and very tough, but I finish my sports career.”

Domracheva was one of the biggest stars of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games as the only athlete to claim three individual gold medals, four years after being put on a Belarus postage stamp for earning an individual bronze. Domracheva could have competed for Russia, having been born in Minsk but raised in the remote western Siberia oil boom town of Nyagan, the birthplace of Maria Sharapova.

She became Belarus’ first female Olympic champion, saying she was “the hope of” Belarus, then was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, “Hero of Belarus.”

After winning her only World Cup overall title in 2015, Domracheva missed the 2015-16 campaign with glandular fever, then in April 2016 announced she and Bjørndalen were in a relationship and having a child.

Domracheva returned to take a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships, then entered PyeongChang ranked fifth in the world. Domracheva struggled early in PyeongChang with finishes of ninth, 37th and 27th before earning mass start silver and relay gold.

Her six career Olympic medals are two more than anybody else from Belarus, and her four golds are double anybody else’s total from her country.

Belarus has only competed independently since the 1994 Lillehammer Games, having previously been part of the Soviet Union. Its top athletes who competed under other flags included gymnasts Olga Korbut (six medals, four golds for the Soviets) and Vitaly Scherbo (six golds in 1992 for the Unified Team; four bronzes in 1996 for Belarus).

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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