Sports News

Athletics: Coleman sets season's best to win Diamond League sprint

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - American Christian Coleman proved he is this year’s king of the sprinters when he set a season’s best 9.79 seconds in the 100 meters on Friday to take the Diamond League title in Brussels.

Slideshow ( 3 images )

Following his world record and World Indoor championship victory at 60m earlier in 2018, Coleman flew out of the blocks on Friday and kept up the momentum to clock a personal best time.

Compatriot Ronnie Baker, who had set the previous fastest 100m of the year nine days ago, was second in 9.93 seconds, with Jamaica’s Yohan Blake third a further hundredth of a second back.

Coleman, silver medalist at last year’s World Championships in London, suffered hamstring injuries for much of the outdoor season, but said he arrived in Brussels finally fit and with scores to settle.

“I feel really good. I came into the whole week with a chip on my shoulder that people had stopped talking about me. They forgot everything I did last year and at the indoors. I mean you can’t blame them,” he said.

Asked whether he was now the “boss of the sprint”, he replied: “I guess so”.

“I guess I’m at the top of the leader board right now, but a lot of guys are shooting for the top spot. You’ve got to stay healthy, be on my A game and keep getting better,” he said.

Brussels was hosting the second part of the Diamond League finals, a day after the first part in Zurich, with all event winners securing $50,000.

Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen proved the week’s biggest winner, following triple jump success in Zurich by a centimeter on Thursday with long jump victory in Brussels on Friday.

Ibarguen said she left her hotel in Switzerland at 5 am to reach Brussels in time for her event, adding she planned to share some of her winnings with her family and on a holiday.

Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega also set a personal and season’s best time in the men’s 5,000m, sprinting into the lead in the final half lap to win in 12 minutes 43.02 seconds. He celebrated the win with a victory dance.

In other highlights, neutral athlete Timur Morgunov won a closely fought men’s pole vault by clearing 5.93m. European champion Armand Duplantis finished a disappointing seventh with his best effort being 5.68m.

On the track, Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech led from halfway through the women’s 3,000m steeplechase to set a meet record 8:55.10.

In the women’s 100m hurdles, there has been little to separate Olympic champion Brianna McNeal from fellow American and world record holder Kendra Harrison all season. On Friday McNeal took the title in 12.61 seconds, beating her rival by just two hundredths of a second.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Clare Fallon and Pritha Sarkar