US sprinter Christian Coleman stormed to the 100 meters gold at the World Athletics Championships in Doha Saturday. Hot favourite Coleman did not disappoint with a blistering winning time of 9.76 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year and sixth best of all time.
Reigning world champion Justin Gatlin took the silver medal, with Canadian Andre De Grasse completing the podium in 9.90 seconds.
“World champion, it sounds incredible, too good to be true. For me to make it here and come out with a gold is incredible,” Coleman said after winning his first global individual gold and establishing himself as the man to beat at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year.
Coleman shrugged off the controversy he was engulfed in before the event after the missed drugs test marred his build-up to the games. He hit back at US sprint king Michael Johnson for his insensitive remarks after the win.
“Michael Johnson doesn’t pay my bills or sign my cheques,” Coleman said. “So I don’t really care what he has to say.”
“I think the face of the sport goes to the people who are putting up the performances,” he told a press conference. “The faces of the sport are going to be the people who are putting up the right times and representing the sport in the right way.”
Coleman rejected suggestions that he would need to do added work as an ambassador for athletics.
“You’re insinuating that something happened — and at the end of the day I did nothing wrong,” he said, repeating his claim that his case was leaked into the public domain before it had been properly adjudicated.
“I’m just a young black man living my dream, and it’s kind of disappointing that someone would leak that information to try and smear my reputation.
“I just keep doing me and representing the sport the right way. Like I said, I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Coleman is adamant however that performances like his own on Saturday will bring the fans back.
“I’ve just got to continue doing my job and more and more people will see the beauty in the sport that I see,” he said.