Christian Coleman underlined his credentials as sprinting’s swiftest man in the post-Bolt world as he won his first major title at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, winning the 60 meters in 6.37 seconds.
Before this season that would have been a world record – but the 21-year-old United States world 100 meter silver medalist ran that time himself in his first race of the season and last month went faster, with his 6.34 awaiting official ratification.
China’s Bingtian Su tried all he knew to combat the young man from Atlanta and was rewarded with the silver medal in an Asian record of 6.42, with Coleman’s compatriot Ronnie Baker taking bronze in 6.44.
Another US world record holder, Kendra Harrison, belatedly demonstrated her ability to rise to the championship occasion in Arena Birmingham as she took her first major international title by winning the 60 meter hurdles in a Championship record of 7.70, just 0.02 seconds off the world record.
In 2016, Harrison took one hundredth of a second off the 1988 world 100 meter hurdles record of 12.21 set by Bulgaria’s Yordanka Donkova, but by then she had failed to qualify at the US Olympic trials.
At last year’s IAAF World Championships in London she finished fourth, and questions began to be raised about her status as a big time runner.
Harrison’s teammate Christine Manning took the silver medal in 7.79 but Nadine Visser of The Netherlands prevented the expected US clean sweep by taking bronze in 7.84.
Home fans were able once again to show their appreciation of Laura Muir, who followed up her 3,000 meter bronze medal last night with a typically gutsy run to earn silver behind world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia in the 1500 meters.
Dibaba, also winner of the 3,000 meters, added the metric mile title in 4:05.27 after winding up the pace after a painfully pedestrian opening two laps.
Muir moved past defending champion Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands in the final backstraight after the three eventual medalists had broken clear, but was unable to get close to the Ethiopian, taking silver in 4:06.23 with Hassan clocking 4:07.26.
After the drama of the men’s high jump and then last night’s men’s long jump, the field events continued to provide peaks of entertainment.
Sandi Morris of the United States won her first global gold in a pole vault, but only after a protracted struggle with Authorized Neutral Athlete Anzhelika Sidorova.
The Russian produced first-time clearances all the way through to a personal best of 4.85 meters, obliging Morris to pass after one failure at that height and gamble on clearing 4.90 meters.
The American managed this on her second attempt but Sidorova kept herself in it by also clearing on her third and final attempt.
Morris, the world and Olympic silver medalist, rose to the challenge again to secure gold with a third-time clearance of 4.95 meters.
Greece’s world and Olympic champion Ekaterini Stefanidi took bronze with 4.80 meters, with New Zealand’s Eliza McCartney fourth in Oceania record of 4.75 meters.
In the absence of his compatriot Christian Taylor, the world and Olympic champion, Will Claye regained the men’s triple jump title he won six years ago in Istanbul with 17.43 meters, the furthest jumped this year.
But the double Olympic silver medalist needed almost every centimeter of that effort to retain gold as Brazil’s Almir Dos Santos, a high jumper who only turned to this event a year ago, managed a fifth round personal best of 17.41 meters.
Portugal’s 33-year-old Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Nelson Evora demonstrated the longevity of his competitive instincts as he took bronze in a national indoor record of 17.40 meters.
World outdoor champion Yulimar Rojas of Venezuala successfully defended the triple jump title she won in Portland two years ago with a fifth round effort of 14.63 meters.
That dropped Jamaica’s Kimberley Williams, who produced a personal best of 14.48 meters, to the silver, ahead of Spain’s Ana Peleteiro, who took bronze with 14.40 meters – also a personal best, which she marked with a gold-medal worthy jumping-on-the-spot celebration.
Another world outdoor champion, shot putter Tomas Walsh, added a world indoor gold to their collection – the New Zealander did so with a Championship record 22.31 meters.
Germany’s former world champion David Storl edged silver ahead of Tomáš Staněk of the Czech Republic by virtue of a better overall record after both had reached 21.44 meters.
Pavel Maslák of the Czech Republic completed a hat-trick of world indoor victories over 400 meters – but in bizarre circumstances, as he was promoted to gold following the disqualification of the two first men home.
Spain’s Oscar Husillos was jubilant after winning in what would have been a Championship record of 44.93 and London 2012 bronze medalist Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic appeared to have taken silver.
But both were disqualified for running out of their lanes.
Courtney Okolo of the United States won the women’s 400 meter gold in a personal best of 50.55 ahead of team-mate Shakima Wimbley, who clocked 51.47.
Wimbley was made to work hard for silver by Britain’s Eilidh Doyle, who only qualified through a disqualification but made the most of her second chance by taking the bronze medal in 51.60.
Poland’s Adam Kszczot, who already had World Indoor Championships silver and bronze medal at 800 meters completed his set with a characteristically well-controlled win in the men’s 800m in 1:47.47, with Drew Windle of the United States taking silver – after being reinstated following a disqualification for running out of his lane – in 1:47.99.
The bronze medal went to Spain’s Saul Ordonez in 1:48.01.
By Mike Rowbottom
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.