Blink and you may well miss it. Judging by the manner in which Christian Coleman accomplished the formality of victory in his semi-final, the 60m world record holder looks set to uncork something pretty special in tonight’s final.
The 21-year-old world outdoor 100m silver medallist made running 6.45 a veritable stroll in the park. He looked as easy as a Lionel Ritchie Sunday morning breaking Justin Gatlin’s 15-year-old stadium record, so stand by for something close to the world record smashing 6.34 he clocked at the US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque last month when he puts his foot fully to the floor.
The other two medal favourites also won their races, both clocking 6.52, though China’s Su Bingtian and Coleman’s US team-mate Ronnie Baker both looked to have been holding less back.
Su’s victory came in the opening race, the Asian record holder maintaining his unbeaten 2018 record ahead of Ghana’s Sean Safo-Antwi, who secured the second automatic qualifying spot in 6.59. Ivorian Arthur Cisse clocked the same time in third but missed out on a non-automatic qualifying spot by 0.001. British champion Chijindu Ujah also missed, being red carded for a false start.
There was also disappointment before race two got underway, with the news that Kim Collins had been a late withdrawal. The 41-year-old former world 100m champion having declared his intention to retire, his morning run for third place in his heat will go down as the final race of his long and distinguished career.
Zhenye Xie finished runner-up to Coleman in 6.57, ensuring second Chinese presence in the final. Behind Baker in the final semi, Iran’s Hassan Taftian took second spot in 6.57 with third placed Slovak Jan Volko making it through as a non automatic qualifier. Turkey’s Emre Barnes, third in Coleman’s race in 6.58, was the other non-automatic qualifier.
Simon Turnbull for the IAAF