Coleman in a class of his own as he becomes the fastest
American sprinter adds the world title to his impressive collection of medals with a new personal best.
Just minutes before the start of the much-anticipated men’s 100M final, the Khalifa International Stadium was plunged into darkness.
The track then was magically lit up with fiery graphics, and each runner was introduced in spectacular fashion.
The surprise element stopped just there.
Once the race began, there was only one man at the forefront, running as if his life depended on it.
Christian Coleman was the favourite for the gold and he lived up to it in superb fashion, adding the outdoor world title to his indoor one with a personal best time of 9.76sec.
Defending champion Justin Gatlin, who had qualified for the final by the skin of his teeth, finished second in 9.89, thus making it an American one-two.
Canada’s 24-year-old Andre de Grasse rounded off the podium with a personal best of 9.90.
Coleman said he worked hard for the result.
“I’ve been blessed with incredible talent and tonight, I was able to show it. Being able to come to Doha and run this race was a dream. I’ve been working incredibly hard. This win makes it all worthwhile,” he said.
Gatlin, who at 37 ran another great race, said it was a testament to his endurance and will power.
“I had so many knick-knacks this season. Even during the warm-up before the final, I was feeling my knee niggling. But I still managed to run fast and win silver. I’ve a message for Christian — I’m coming, and he’d better be ready,” said Gatlin.
It was De Grasse’s second bronze at the World Championships, after ’15 Beijing.
“I always try to keep my mind positive and think I can come back and do better. Today, I’d a new personal best, and that’s a positive sign. I’ll take it,” he said.
Earlier, Coleman underlined his status as title favourite with a 9.88sec run in the first semifinal. The American blasted out of the blocks, giving no chance to Canada’s Aaron Brown (10.12).
There was high drama in the second semifinal, with De Grasse, Gatlin and Jamaican Yohan Blake all crossing the finish line in a blur. It took the judges a while to announce the result, with De Grasse as the winner in 10.07sec.
Blake was second in 10.09 while Gatlin was just 1/1000th of a second slower. The American qualified as one of the two fastest losers.
The third semifinal was reasonably straightforward, with South African Akani Simbine going through in 10.01. Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes (10.05) and Italy’s Filippo Tortu (10.11) also qualified.
Blake the 2011 champion, eventually finished fifth in the final, timing 9.97 sec. Simbine was fourth in 9.93.