BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Christian Coleman demonstrated just why he is the man tipped to lead sprinting into the post-Usain Bolt era when he roared to victory in the 60 meters at the world indoor championships on Saturday.
The 21-year-old U.S sprinter, who set a world record of 6.34 seconds last month, was in a different league to his rivals as he triumphed in a championship record 6.37 seconds, equaling the second fastest run of all time which he had also set in January.
Su Bingtian, of China, took the silver in an Asian-record 6.42 with Coleman’s U.S. team mate Ronnie Baker winning the bronze in 6.44.
Coleman, who lost only to compatriot Justin Gatlin in last year’s 100 meters in London, was never beaten by the great Jamaican Bolt in their three meetings.
“You work so hard and put so much emphasis into running and you’ll never get tired of the feeling of winning,” Coleman said.
“This year I didn’t come here to chase a world record but I knew I’d put in a lot of work and executed it through practice.
“When I’ve put things together during the meets special things have happened but I’m excited for the outdoor season. I won’t put a limit on myself. We’ll just see what happens.
“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.
“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.”
Coleman had looked magnificent in winning his semi-final in 6.45 seconds but he was even quicker away from the blocks in the final.
Indeed, he suffered only one setback all day when he stumbled on the third step of his morning heat before easing to victory in a modest 6.71 seconds.
Editing by Ken Ferris and Clare Fallon