Rojas retains triple jump title; Coleman scare in 60 heat
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) When you get a phone call from former sprint king Maurice Greene straight after setting another record, you know you’ve done something special.
Christian Coleman added the championship record to his growing list of achievements in winning the 60 meters at the world athletics indoors on Saturday.
Coleman smashed Greene’s 20-year-old world record last month by clocking 6.34 seconds and the American came within 0.03 seconds of that at Arena Birmingham.
Greene called as Coleman was talking to reporters, and Coleman put the phone on speaker so everyone could hear Greene’s congratulations.
”Just to have my name up there with those kind of guys is a huge honor,” Coleman said after hanging up. ”Maurice is someone I can call a friend now and that’s great for me.”
Coleman, who turns 22 on Tuesday, never looked in danger as he beat Su Bingtian of China by 0.05 and U.S. teammate Ronnie Baker by 0.07. He said the gold medal meant more to him than the world record.
Other world indoors records tumbled on Saturday: American Kendra Harrison set a new mark in the 60-meter hurdles as did compatriot Sandi Morris in the pole vault, and New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh in the shot put.
The oldest record in the world indoors book fell when Walsh’s last hurl of 22.31 meters eclipsed the record of 22.24 set by Ulf Timmermann in 1987, five years before the New Zealander was born.
It was a third world indoor silver medal for David Storl of Germany. He and Tomas Stanek of the Czech Republic threw 21.44 but Storl had a superior second best throw.
America was favored to sweep the podium in the 60 hurdles and although Harrison and Christina Manning finished one-two respectively, Nadine Visser of the Netherlands edged Sharika Nelvis for bronze.
There was another American one-two in the women’s 400. Courtney Okolo controlled from the start and won in 50.55 seconds. Teammate Shakima Wimbley moved ahead of Britain’s Eilidh Doyle on the final straight to finish second.
Oscar Husillos thought he broke a championship record in the 400 but he and Luguelin Santos, who originally crossed the line in second, were disqualified for lane infringements, handing a third successive world indoors title to Pavel Maslak.
”The guys were stronger than me and I do not know what went wrong for them,” Maslak said. ”They would have beaten me anyway so even if it is gold, it will have a bronze flavor for me.”
Morris attempted to break the world indoor pole vault record but failed in three attempts at 5.04 meters.
She was runner-up at the 2017 world championships and 2016 Olympics, plus at the previous world indoors.
Morris finally got her hands on a gold medal when she broke the championship record with her third attempt at 4.95, although she faced an anxious moment with one more woman left in the competition.
”I just brought everything I had down that runway and imagined I was running into battle,” Morris said, laughing. ”And, oh my gosh, the feeling once I got on the other side of the bar and then when I knew I was a gold medalist, I can’t even describe it.”
Anzhelika Sidorova matched Morris’ previous leaps but failed at her third attempt at 4.95 and finished second, ahead of Olympic and world champion Katerina Stefanidi.
”You never want to wish a miss on somebody, that’s just bad luck,” Morris added. ”But at the same time I’m like, `Oh I’m tired.”’
Genzebe Dibaba clinched her second gold in Birmingham when the Ethiopian added the 1,500 title to the 3,000 she won on Friday.
Britain’s Laura Muir put in a fantastic final surge to beat defending champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands to silver, a reversal of their positions in the 3,000.
There was controversy in the only other individual track final. There was no doubt about Adam Kszczot’s dominant victory in the 800 but runner-up Drew Windle was disqualified, promoting Saul Ordonez to silver and Elliot Giles to bronze.
However, the American team’s appeal was accepted, reinstating Windle into second place.
Kevin Mayer of France won the heptathlon by just five points over Damian Warner, despite the Canadian clocking a personal best to win the final event, the 1,000 meters.
Just three centimeters separated the medalists in the men’s triple jump. American Will Claye regained the title he won six years ago by edging Almir dos Santos and Nelson Evora.
In the women’s event, defending champion Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela beat Kimberly Williams and Ana Peleteiro.