World Champs Men’s 100 — Yearly Leader For Coleman

In WC history only Usain Bolt & Tyson Gay have run faster than Christian Coleman’s 9.76. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

THE BLUE RIBAND men’s sprint played out as a dash through question marks to a collective return to form for the medalists. Christian Coleman indelibly stamped his name on it. In upgrading from the silver he earned at the ’17 Worlds, the 23-year-old American not only dominated defending champ Justin Gatlin and Rio bronze medalist Andre De Grasse, his 9.76 clocking, a PR by 0.03, also elevated him to No. 6 all-time.

At 37, uber-vet Gatlin rushed home in 9.89 to reach the podium in a WC century for a fifth time, relieved to have bounced back from a hamstring injury he incurred in the Zagreb IWC 3½ weeks ago. Canadian De Grasse, frustrated by injury in the two seasons after the Olympics, found reason to smile here in a fast-finishing 9.90 PR, 0.01 faster than his Olympic final clocking.

From the heats onward, though, Coleman made himself the man to watch. He showed with his sprinting that a nerve-wracking clash with officialdom over a threatened whereabouts failure suspension and eventual exoneration had not derailed his preparation. After 2 months away from racing since the USATF Championships, the Tennessee alum crushed it through the rounds, banging out a 9.98 heat win. Akani Simbine approached but failed to breach the 10-flat barrier with his 10.01 in heat I, as Gatlin (10.06 from De Grasse’s 10.13) and ’11 world titlist Yohan Blake also essayed heat wins and 7 men bettered 10.10. (Continued below)

Coleman’s 9.88 (-0.3 wind) to win semi I from Canada’s Aaron Brown served as a declaration the title would be his to lose. Gatlin in his heat had taken some time to get rolling and ended quick but in the semi it was his finish that puzzled. Did he mean to ease up so much he was caught by De Grasse (10.07) and Blake (10.09) at the line? Gatlin’s 10.09 was 0.001 behind Blake’s. Simbine (10.01 again) took semi III from Briton Zharnel Hughes (10.05).

After a 3½-hour semis-to-final interval—Gatlin said he had a sandwich and a catnap—and a super-amped, laser-lit intro for the field, the men took their blocks. At the gun, Gatlin, in lane 2, sprung forth in front. But Coleman in 3 was clawing the track powerfully and blasted to a clear lead by 30m. Flowing, not fighting—at least that’s how he looked—he bulled home more than a meter ahead. De Grasse produced the contest’s premier second half as he overcame a deficit that saw him 5th at best halfway through. Closing efficiently, he decisively outleaned Simbine a lane to his right in 5. With his 9.93 for 4th, the 26-year-old South African upgraded a placing spot from 5ths at Rio and the 17 Worlds.

Said Coleman, “This is just something that I’ll never forget. I’ll never take for granted that opportunity to come out here and compete and then to be crowned the world champion. I don’t know, people don’t see the behind the scenes of the amount of blood, sweat and tears that goes into it just to even step on that line and be able to make it to the World Championships final. So hats off to all the competitors out there. I knew I would be able to come out with the win were I to execute, so I don’t know, I just put together a good plan, I got the gold medal and now I’m the world champion.”

For a 37-year-old to sprint 9.89 after two preliminary rounds and score a Worlds silver—well, Gatlin blazed a new trail. “You know it feels great,” he said. “I started this championship off with the word ‘thankful’ and I still want to end it with the word ‘thankful.’” His gratitude is easily understood: “I had an up-and-down season, I had some injuries. I had a question mark over my head if I was even going to come to the championship after my injury in Zagreb, and still made the finals, made the podium. Thankful!”

Gratitude was goin’ around. Said De Grasse, “To go through those injuries and battle back for the past couple of years, all I can say is I’m grateful for it. It’s an amazing feeling to get back here in Doha and be on the podium.”



(September 28; wind +0.6) (temperature 77F/25C, humidity 67%)

1. Christian Coleman (US) 9.76 PR (WL, AL) (6, =15 W; 3, 6 A);

2. Justin Gatlin (US) 9.89;

3. Andre De Grasse (Can) 9.90 PR;

4. Akani Simbine (SA) 9.93;

5. Yohan Blake (Jam) 9.97;

6. Zharnel Hughes (GB) 10.03;

7. Filippo Tortu (Ita) 10.07;

8. Aaron Brown (Can) 10.08.

Lanes: 2. Tortu; 3. Gatlin; 4. Coleman; 5. Simbine; 6. De Grasse; 7. Hughes; 8. Blake; 9. Brown

Reaction times: 0.117 Simbine; 0.119 Hughes; 0.128 Coleman; 0.140 De Grasse; 0.142 Blake; 0.148 Gatlin; 0.155 Brown; 0.158 Tortu


(September 27)

I(0.1)–1. Taymir Burnet (Hol) 10.23; 2. Hakeem Huggins (StK) 10.49; 3. Owaab Barrow (Qat) 10.64 PR;

4. Ronald Fotofili (TGA) 11.06; 5. Rijo Saymon (AIA) 11.11 PR; 6. Said Gilani (Afg) 11.45; 7. Tikove Piira (COK) 11.81 PR; 8. Alpha Diagana (Mau) 12.30 PR.

II(0.4)–1. Kuk-Young Kim (SK) 10.32; 2. Ngoc Nghia Ngan (VN) 10.67;

3. Yendountien Tiebekabe (Tog) 10.69; 4. Brandon Jones (Blz) 10.88; 6. Tirioro Kamoriki Willie (Kyr) 11.57.

III(0.3)–1. Zhouzheng Xu (Chn) 10.35; 2. Jonathan Bardottier (Mri) 10.61;

3. Melique Garcia (Hon) 10.76; 4. Rossene Mpingo (Con) 10.98 PR; 5. James Fiti Scott (Mic) 11.34; 6. Bleu Perez (Gum) 11.48 PR; 7. Don Motellang (MHL) 11.89 PR.

IV(0.0)–1. Ebrahima Camara (Gam) 10.36; 2. Ratu Banuve Tabakaucoro (Fij) 10.56;

3. Stern Noel Liffa (Maw) 10.72 NR; 4. Jonah Harris (NRU) 11.01; 5. Cheick Aboubacar Camara (Gui) 11.38 PR; 6. Dinesh Kumar Dhakal (Bhu) 11.64 NR; 7. Nainoa Soto Thompson (AmS) 11.66 PR; 8. Adrian Justin Jimena Ililau (Pau) 11.67 PR.


(September 27)

I(-0.3)–1. Simbine 10.01; 2. Brown 10.16; 3. Zhenye Xie (Chn) 10.19; 4. Burnet 10.21; 5. Ojie Edoburun (GB) 10.23;

6. Christopher Belcher (US) 10.23; 7. Kemar Hyman (Cay) 10.37; 8. Tabakaucoro 10.56.

II(-0.8)–1. Gatlin 10.06; 2. De Grasse 10.13; 3. Adam Gemili (GB) 10.19; 4. Tyquendo Tracey (Jam) 10.21;

5. Edward Osei-Nketia (NZ) 10.24; 6. Rohan Browning (Aus) 10.40; 7. Usheoritse Itsekiri (Ngr) 10.46;… dnc—Bardottier.

III(-0.8)–1. Hughes 10.08; 2. Raymond Ekevwo (Ngr) 10.14; 3. Emmanuel Matadi (Lbr) 10.19;

4. Simon Magakwe (SA) 10.25; 5. Cejhae Greene (Ant) 10.33; 6. Joseph Amoah (Gha) 10.36; 7. Xu 10.37; 8. E. Camara 10.38.

IV(-0.3)–1. Blake 10.07; 2. Jimmy Vicaut (Fra) 10.08; 3. Arthur Cissé (CI) 10.14; 4. Yoshihide Kiryu (Jpn) 10.18; 5. Bingtian Su (Chn) 10.21;

6. Kim 10.32; 7. Vitor dos Santos (Bra) 10.42; 8. Huggins 10.62.

V(-0.3)–1. Paulo André de Oliveira (Bra) 10.11; 2. Mike Rodgers (US) 10.14; 3. Tortu 10.20; 4. Yuki Koike (Jpn) 10.21;

5. Hassan Taftian (Irn) 10.24; 6. Thando Dlodlo (SA) 10.25; 7. Barrow 12.82.

VI(0.1)–1. Coleman 9.98; 2. Lamont Marcell Jacobs (Ita) 10.07; 3. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Jpn) 10.09;

4. Rodrigo do Nascimento (Bra) 10.25; 5. Mario Burke (Bar) 10.31; 6. Lalu Muhammad Zohri (Ina) 10.36; 7. Alex Wilson (Swi) 10.38;… dnc—Ngan.


(September 28)

I(-0.3)–1. Coleman 9.88; 2. Brown 10.12;

3. Gemili 10.13; 4. de Oliveira 10.14; 5. Sani Brown 10.15; 6. Burnet 10.18; 7. Jacobs 10.20; 8. Su 10.23.

II(-0.1)–1. De Grasse 10.07; 2. Blake 10.09; 3. Gatlin 10.09;

4. Xie 10.14; 5. Ekevwo 10.20; 6. Edoburun 10.22; 7. Koike 10.28; 8. Matadi 10.28.

III(0.8)–1. Simbine 10.01; 2. Hughes 10.05; 3. Tortu 10.11;

4. Tracey 10.11; 5. Rodgers 10.12; 6. Kiryu 10.16; 7. Vicaut 10.16; 8. Cissé 10.34. ◻︎

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