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IAAF World Indoor Championships: Christian Coleman breaks 60m record, wins gold

Christian Coleman won the gold medal in the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, finishing 0.05s ahead of China’s Su Bingtian and his teammate Ronnie Baker who finished third clocking 6.44s.

other sports Updated: Mar 04, 2018 16:47 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Birmingham
IAAF World Indoor Championships,Christian Coleman,Ronnie Baker
US athlete Christian Coleman celebrates winning the men's 60m final at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships at the Arena in Birmingham on March 3, 2018. (AFP)

“Oh look who’s calling him! He would be very happy.” At the mixed zone then, Christian Coleman was speaking to journalists with a straight face, minutes after setting a new championship record of 6.37s while clinching the 60m gold.

As a member of his team tried to wade through the crowd of scribes to deliver the ongoing call, Coleman didn’t seem too excited.

That, however, immediately changed as he saw the caller’s name on the screen. It was none other than Maurice Greene, whose record of 6.39s he had smashed a couple of weeks back.

While they exchanged their usual camaraderie, Coleman’s expression finally changed to what it should be for a world champion. “I just want to try and etch my name in history. I don’t think much. I focus on my routine and just try to come out and win,” he told reporters.

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Coleman finished 0.05s ahead of China’s Su Bingtian and his teammate Ronnie Baker who finished third clocking 6.44s. A major disappointment, however, was the disqualification of Britain’s CJ Ujah who bowed out owing to a false start in the semifinals.

Disqualification, however, had a major role to play in the 400m discipline, as Czech Republic’s Pavel Maslak became the first athlete to win three world indoor titles after Spaniard Oscar Husillos and Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos were barred owing to lane infringements.

While Spain did present a protest, Dominican Republic chose to accept the decision. Oscar’s timing of 44.92 would not just have earned him gold but would have also been a European record.

Maslak was followed by USA’s Michael Cherry and Trinidad and Tobago’s Deon Lendore.

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In the women’s 400m, it was a one-two for USA as Courtney Okolo clinched gold by clocking her personal best at 50.55s followed by her teammate Shakima Wimbley who was leading close to the half-way mark before Okolo took lead with her lap timed at 23.98s.

Great Britain’s Eilidh Doyle, took bronze but would perhaps lament of not sticking on to her second spot as Wimbley beat her on the stretch.

In the only middle-distance event for women on the penultimate day, Ethopian Genzebe Dibaba lived up to her reputation as she clinched gold in the 1500m discipline, thus becoming only the second woman in history to complete a 1500-3000m double at the World Indoor Championships.

Romanian Gabriela Szabo had achieved the feat back in 1999 at Maebashi, Japan. Like Okolo, Dibaba too, consolidated on her early lead, and clocked 4:05.27 as she went past the finishing line.

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The 1000m heptathlon event went on expected lines as France’s Kevin Mayer, who was on pole before the last round clinched gold, with Canadian Damian Warner clinching silver. Warner did win the 1000m discipline, but that did little to help him bridge the gap with the Frenchman. Estonian Maicel Uibo took bronze to help his nation get on the medal’s tally.

Round 1 of the men’s 60m hurdles saw Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi clocking his season’s best of 7.53s to lead the pack of 24 athletes who qualified for the semifinal stages.

For an athlete every single inch matters. But then, the metric system can often be confusing for athletes coming from different parts of world. USA’s Sandi Morris, who clinched gold in pole vault, however did have a solution to that.

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A close look at her hand would reveal that every single number was converted to metres and inches and inked on her hand. “I can lose a piece of paper but not my hand,” she said, exulting in joy. Russian Anzhelika Sidorova, who’s competing as a neutral athlete and Greece’s Katerina Stefanidi followed her to clinch the next two spots, respectively.

In the men’s 800m, Poland’s Adam Kszczot won at 1:47.47 and dedicated the victory to his son who was born last year. New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh won the shot put (22.31) while American Will Claye won the triple jump at 17.43m. It was also an American one-two in the 60m hurdles with Kendra Harrison and Christina Manning topping the chart followed by Holland’s Nadine Vissier.

NOTE | The reporter is in Birmingham as part of the Young Reporter’s programme organised by AIPS in collaboration with the IAAF

First Published: Mar 04, 2018 16:47 IST