With Usain Bolt set to hang up his spikes after the World Athletics Championships in London this summer, the search is on for the next superstar to emerge over 100 metres.
Step forward Christian Coleman.
Still only 21, the American athlete smashed the collegiate record on Wednesday when he ran 9.82secs in the first heat of the men’s 100m semi-final at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene.
In doing so the Tennessee sprinter became the fourth-fastest American of all time, with only Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin, and Maurice Greene having ever run faster than him.
Gay holds the US record with a run of 9.69secs. The fastest any Brit has ever run was Linford Christie’s 9.87secs in 1993.
Coleman also jointly holds the 60m indoor record at college level, and became the first person to win both the 60m and 200m at NCAA indoor Championships since Gatlin performed the same in 2002.
His ability has not gone unnoticed, and he was part of the USA Olympics team that headed to Rio last summer along with Bolt and other stars of the sport, running the second leg in their 4x100m relay qualifying heat.
With the world’s fastest man set to bow out, sprinting his crying out for a new superstar, and the signs are good for the American hot on the scene.
Coleman has broken the 10-second barrier at a younger age than the Jamaican, Bolt hitting 9.76secs three months before his 22nd birthday, improving on a personal best of 10.03secs.
There is time yet for this Tennessee torpedo to improve, too. Sprinting could have found its new king.