Friday 18 October 2019

Coleman hits back at critics after claiming world 100m gold in Doha

Taking aim: American sprinter Christian Coleman after winning the World Championship 100 metres final. Photo: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Taking aim: American sprinter Christian Coleman after winning the World Championship 100 metres final. Photo: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

Cathal Dennehy

As starts go, this wasn't what athletics aficionados had in mind: half-empty stands, complaints from athletes over hazardous conditions, and the continuing doping question being asked over several medallists.

Yes, this year's World Championships have a way to go to be called anything other than a let-down, but with three days down, seven still to go, there's still time for a reversal.

Few of those hoping for an uplifting experience will have been emboldened by what they witnessed on Saturday night, however, as American Christian Coleman shook off recent controversy to strike gold in the marquee event, the men's 100m, in 9.76 seconds.

Coleman narrowly avoided a ban last month after recording three anti-doping whereabouts failures in the past 12 months, but was eventually cleared. After winning he took aim at his critics.

"I guess you are insinuating something happened but I didn't do anything wrong," he said. "I haven't been careless. Everyone in this room has not been perfect. I am just a young black man living my dream, people are trying to smear my reputation. I'll just keep doing what I've been doing and focus on me. Now I'm a world champion and that's something that nobody can ever take away from me."

Back in second, clocking 9.89, was Justin Gatlin, who has twice been banned after positive tests and who is running almost as fast now, at 37, as he was in his prime.

Elsewhere, Sifan Hassan produced an incredible performance to strike gold in the women's 10,000m, the Dutch athlete clocking an astonishing 3:59 last 1,500m - a world-class time in its own right - to take her first world title in 30:17.63. Hassan is coached by Alberto Salazar, the head coach at the Nike Oregon Project, and she will attempt to win another gold this week in either the 1,500m or 5,000m.

There was a huge shock in the men's long jump where Jamaica's Tajay Gayle recorded the 10th biggest jump in history with 8.69m, breaking his personal best by 37cm to take gold.

Last night Jamaican sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce reigned supreme in the women's 100m, the 32-year-old winning her fourth world title in 10.71.

USA took gold in the 4x400m mixed relay, with Allyson Felix, who ran the second leg, surpassing Usain Bolt on the all-time list for World Championship titles, bringing her tally to 12.

Irish Independent

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