American Christian Coleman on Friday used an injury and media snubbing as motivation to scorch to the seventh-fastest 100m time of all time, as he snatched the Diamond League trophy for the blue riband event in scintillating style in Brussels.
Coleman, the world record holder over 60m indoors and world 100m silver medalist in London last year, clocked a personal best of 9.79 seconds, the fastest 100m run since the now-retired Usain Bolt won the 2015 world title in Beijing.
Ronnie Baker had been tipped as the one to beat, but a dreadful start left him trailing the entire field before eventually finding his rhythm to push through behind Coleman in 9.93 seconds.
“Winning the Diamond League with a personal record — it’s like icing on the cake,” the 22-year-old Coleman said. “It means a lot to notch my name in the sport and have my name among some of the greats.”
He said his time overshadowed his showing in the 60m in the Birmingham World Indoors in March, which was followed by a right hamstring injury that curtailed his training and competitive appearances.
“I now feel pretty good, I came into the whole weekend with a huge chip on my shoulder, because people stopped talking about me, about all that I’d done this year,” he said. “I was just injured and I used that as fuel to the fire. I felt like I could go out there and do a personal best.”
Touted as the strongest men’s pole vault field ever, with five of the 12 finalists having cleared the mythical 6m barrier, the competition petered out for French world record holder Renaud Lavillenie and Swedish teenager Armand Duplantis, who won European gold in Berlin last month with 6.05m.
It came down instead to a battle between American Sam Hendricks and Russian Timur Morgunov, the latter eventually winning with 5.93m.
Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen, fresh from winning the overall triple jump title in Zurich on Thursday, also claimed the long jump trophy with a best of 6.8m.
It meant she became the first non-sprinter in history to win two Diamond trophies in one year, four sprinters having already achieved the feat.
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