Birmingham: Christian Coleman confirmed his status as the most exciting young sprinter in the post-Usain Bolt era when he stormed to 60m glory on Saturday as Ethiopian track legend Genzebe Dibaba bagged a golden world indoor brace.
Coleman arrived in Birmingham, England, fresh from having set a new world indoor record of 6.34sec for the sprint and the 21-year-old American made no mistake when taking his first steps in the global arena in the absence of the now-retired Bolt.
Starting in lane four, Coleman enjoyed an electrifying start and powered through the line in a championship record of 6.37sec ahead of Su Bingtian of China, who lowered the Asian record to 6.42sec when he took silver. Coleman’s US teammate Ronnie Baker claimed bronze.
“I have a good chance to lead the sport in the post-Bolt era but like I’ve told so many others, loads of guys have the talent,” said Coleman.
“I have to make sure I keep working to stay on top and when I get the opportunity to take gold medals you take them.”
Serial world record holder Dibaba once again demonstrated her imperious form in winning her second indoor 1500-metre title, just two days after winning her third consecutive 3000-metre gold.
Dibaba looked completely unruffled as she led the same two athletes on to the podium as she had in the 3000 metres, this time Briton Laura Muir taking silver ahead of Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan.
In an outstanding night for US athletes, there were also championship records set by Coleman’s teammates Sandi Morris and Kendra Harrison.
A thrilling competition in the women’s pole vault saw Morris clear 4.95 metres for victory ahead of Anzhelika Sidorova, the Russian competing as a neutral athlete (4.90 metres).
Greece’s Katerina Stefanidi, the reigning world, European and Olympic champion, took bronze (4.80) in what was a totally gripping event as Morris finally converted her world outdoor and indoor silvers into gold.
There was more of the same from 100m hurdles world record holder Harrison, who scorched home in 7.70sec in the shortened form, the third fastest time ever run.
US teammate Christina Manning took silver as Courtney Okolo also led a US 1-2 with Shakima Wimbley in the women’s 400m while there was more American gold in the triple jump as multiple world and Olympic medallist Will Claye soared out to 17.43m for his second world indoor title, having previously won in Istanbul in 2012.
Poland’s Adam Kszczot also finally won a global title after two world outdoor silvers in the 800m, adding gold to the silver and bronze he has previously won indoors with a dominant display in the four-lap race.