Christian Coleman could be the heir to Usain Bolt thrown – despite finishing second at London 2017.
All eyes were on Usain Bolt in the World Championships 100m final on Saturday night as he bowed out from the individual race as he won the bronze, with Justin Gatlin taking gold.
The former drugs cheat is now 35 and hasn’t got too long left at the top.
So is Coleman the next big thing in sprinting?
The Tennessee Volunteers young gun ran a blistering 9.82 at the NCAA Championships in Eugene on June 7, his personal best.
Coleman qualified for the semi-finals second fastest with 10.01, behind only Jamaica’s Julian Forte who was the only man to break 10 seconds with a PB of 9.99 seconds.
Given this is his first major championships in an individual event, Coleman is as far as is possible from the total 11 world titles Bolt has to his name – along with his eight Olympic gold medals and every world record he’s aimed at.
Coleman is certainly a name for the future.
No other athlete in the world has gone sub 9.9 this year without wind assistance, with Bolt’s best being 9.95, making Coleman’s 9.82 more impressive.
The time makes his ninth on the all-time list. Of those ahead of him only Bolt, justin Gatlin and Ashafa powell have bettered that time since the last Worlds were staged in Beijing in 2015.
So he’s the real deal. What is yet to be established is whether he can hold his nerve on the biggest stage of all.
“This is my first individual competition at international level and the goal for me is to come out with the win,” he says confidently.
“Bolt is the greatest of all time right now. He’s done some things that 20 years ago not many people thought could be done.
But I’m locked in and focused in and when you do that, special things happen. I will be ready. ”Coleman impressed during Saturday night’s semi-final and final and with no more Bolt, big things are expected. Without the Jamaican opportunity knocks. And Coleman knows it.
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