February 19, 2018 / 5:01 PM / 7 months ago

Coleman can go faster, former world record holder Greene says

(Reuters) - Newly crowned 60 meters world record holder Christian Coleman can run even faster in both the indoor race and the outdoor 100 meters, former holder Maurice Greene believes.

Feb 10, 2018; Boston, Massachussetts, USA; Christian Coleman (USA) wins the 60m in 6.46 during the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix at Reggie Lewis Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2000 Olympic champion made the prediction after world 100 meters silver medalist Coleman ran the 60 in a sizzling 6.34 seconds at the U.S. indoor championships in high altitude Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday.

The time sliced 0.05 seconds off Greene’s 20-year-old world record and came a month after Coleman had run 6.37 in a South Carolina meeting that was not ratified because of the absence of electronic starting blocks.

“He might be able to knock off a couple (of hundredths), maybe (run) 6.32, 31,” Greene told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“I was very impressed how he picked it up after the start,” said Greene, who set world records in both the 60 and 100 meters during his career.

“He didn’t get that good of a start, but he really accelerated and went for it.”

Coleman, Greene and four-time Olympic sprint medalist Ato Boldon all indicated there could be another fast time coming at the March 1-4 world indoor championships in Birmingham, England, with U.S. team mate Ronnie Baker there to push Coleman.

Feb 10, 2018; Boston, Massachussetts, USA; Christian Coleman (USA) wins the 60m in 6.46 during the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix her (at Reggie Lewis Center. From left: Keston Bledman (TTO), Christopher Belcher (USA), Noah Lyles (USA) and Coleman. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Baker became the third fastest 60 meters runner of all-time with his 6.40 seconds runner-up finish at Albuquerque.

“He really pushed me,” Coleman told reporters. “Ronnie damn near ran the world record.

“Now we have another big moment coming up in two weeks (in Birmingham). I think it will be another special race.”

Boldon, now a television analyst, would not be surprised at another record if all goes well.

“(He) can go faster at worlds because that was a poor start by his standards,” the former Trinidad and Tobago star said on Twitter.

NEW TARGETS

Catching Usain Bolt for the fastest 60 meters ever recorded might be a challenge, though.

The Jamaican was timed unofficially at 6.31 seconds outdoors during his 100 meters world record run of 9.58 seconds at the 2009 Berlin world championships.

Feb 10, 2018; Boston, Massachussetts, USA; Christian Coleman (USA) poses after winning the 60m in 6.46 during the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix at Reggie Lewis Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

But Coleman, who finished ahead of the now retired Bolt but behind countryman Justin Gatlin at the 2017 world championships in London could become the man to beat in the 100 this year.

Collegiate sprint champion indoors and out last year, he took down the college 100 meters record with a blazing 9.82 seconds for the fastest time of 2017.

And he is ready to run faster, Greene said.

“You know he is in the low 9.7 (seconds) range now,” Greene said of a time only seven sprinters have run.

But the three-time world 100 meters champion would like to see Coleman run a few races before making any predictions.

“I want to see if he has fixed that last 20,” Greene said of Coleman’s tendency to lose top speed faster than others at the end of a race.

“If he fixes that last 20, it is going to be hurtful for a lot of people.”

Boldon is already convinced.

“Some may deny his ability to now dominate the 100, but the combo of that start, that acceleration and sub 19.7 200m ability = very few legit threats to him out there,” the analyst and coach said.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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