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Team USA Dominates Medals Stand At World Indoor Track And Field Championships With 18 Total

By Gary R. Blockus | March 04, 2018, 4:26 p.m. (ET)

Christian Coleman celebrates winning the 60-meter at the IAAF World Indoor Championships on March 3, 2018 in Birmingham, England.


Sprinter Christian Coleman’s star continued to rise at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, which wrapped up Sunday in Birmingham, England.

Coleman, who turns 22 on Tuesday, continued his assault on the 60-meter, winning in 6.37 seconds. That was just short of the world record 6.34 he ran in altitude last month in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and tied the previous world record, which he set in January.

His performance highlighted a winning weekend for Team USA, which led all countries with six gold medals and 18 total medals. Great Britain, with six medals, was second.

The other gold medalists for Team USA were Will Claye in men’s triple jump, Sandi Morris in the women’s pole vault, Courtney Okolo in the women’s 400, Kendra Harrison in the women’s 60-meter hurdles, and the women’s 4x400 team.

Coleman, a 2016 Olympian, has emerged as the next big name in men’s sprinting. After making his Olympic debut in Rio, where he ran in the qualifying round of the 4x100, the University of Tennessee sprinter finished second in both the 100 and 4x100 at least year’s outdoor world championships in London. In the 100, he was second to veteran teammate Justin Gatlin while defeating world-record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who was competing in his last world championships.

Coleman’s win was one of five for Team USA on Saturday.

Claye, the triple jump silver medalist at the last two Olympic Games, secured his second indoor world championship in the event with a jump of 17.43 m on his fourth attempt.

Pole vaulter Morris finally broke through after winning silver medals at the 2016 indoor world championships and Olympics and then the 2017 outdoor world championships. Her final height of 4.95 meters broke the meet record held by Team USA’s Jenn Suhr, but Morris missed in her three attempts to break Suhr’s world record of 5.02.

Okolo, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the 4x400, won her first individual world title with a time of 50.55 seconds in the 400. Teammate Shakima Wimbley was second at 51.47.

Americans ended the day with another 1-2 finish when Harrison tied the U.S. record of 7.70 seconds to win the 60-meter hurdles with Christina Manning taking second at 7.79.

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On Sunday, the U.S. women’s 4x400 team added one more gold medal, winning in a meet record 3:23.85 with the team of Quanera Hayes, Georganne Moline, Wimbley and Okolo.

Ten Americans won silver medals in Birmingham.

Among them was Sam Kendricks. The reigning men’s outdoor world pole vault champion, who won Olympic bronze in 2016, repeated as the world indoor silver medalist by clearing the bar at 5.85.

Other silver-medal winners on the men’s side included Jarret Eaton in the 60-meter hurdles, Michael Cherry in the 400, Drew Windle in the 800, and the team of Fred Kerley, Cherry, Aldrich Bailey and Vernon Norwood in the 4x400.

Silver medalists on the women’s side included long jumper Brittney Reese, the 2012 Olympic champion and 2016 silver medalist. Reese, who has three indoor world titles and four outdoor world titles in the event, jumped 6.89, just short of Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic, who went 6.96.

Other women’s silver medalists included Vashti Cunningham, the defending indoor world champion in high jump, and Ajee Wilson, who set a personal best with a 1:58.99 in the 800 and led through the first three splits before being overtaken by Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, who won in a world-leading 1:58.31.

Bronze medalists included Ronnie Baker in the men’s 60-meter, and 2016 indoor world champion Marquis Dendy in the men’s long jump, whose jump of 8.42 was better than his gold-medal jump of 8.26 in 2016.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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