Coleman, Barega Make History At Brussels Diamond League Final

Photo Credit: IAAF Diamond League

Christian Coleman of the United States ran 9.79 to win the IAAF Diamond League in Brussels on Friday evening, the fastest time the world has seen over 100 meters in three years.

The time is a new personal best for the 22-year-old, who beat world record holder Usain Bolt for silver at last summer’s IAAF World Championships. Coleman ties U.S. legend Maurice Greene as the third-fastest man in American history and the seventh-fastest man in world history.

He sprinted for another 100m after the finish line in celebration, declaring “Mine!” to the cheering fans in the stands.

Though Coleman won his last two races—Diamond League competitions in Birmingham and Rabat—he lost his first races of the outdoor season and rested for the entire month of June, opting to skip the USATF Outdoor Championships with a hamstring injury. The Brussels win thus marked a return to the form that saw him medal last summer and set the world record for 60m in March.

Fellow American Ronnie Baker, the 2018 USATF champion, took second in 9.93 after a sluggish start.

Ethiopian Selemon Barega became the fourth-fastest performer in world history over 5K with his stunning 12:43.02 victory. The 18-year-old set a world junior record and Diamond League record; his time is the fastest in the world in 13 years, since Kenenisa Bekele clocked 12:40.18 in 2005. Bekele also holds the world record of 12:37.35, which he set in 2004.

Barega pulled eight men to sub-13 minute runs, including American Paul Chelimo, whose personal best of 12:57.55 ranks him as the fourth-fastest man in U.S. history. Chelimo, who won his first Diamond League race in London this summer, was sixth in Brussels.

Shelby Houlihan of the United States capped her impressive, American record-setting season with a runner-up finish in the women’s 1500m final behind Laura Muir of Great Britain, 3:58.94 to 3:58.49.

The Bowerman Track Club star laid in wait while Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia charged to a blazing, 61-second opening lap. Muir and the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan worked together to close the gap on Tsegay at halfway, but Houlihan was not within striking distance until the bell lap—at which point Muir held advantage through the finish line.

Fellow American Jenny Simpson finished 10th in 4:04.57.

The women’s steeplechase saw world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya make quick work of the field with an 8:55.10 meet record victory. That time is 11 seconds slower than her world record and still three seconds faster than any woman in history besides Olympic champion Ruth Jebet, who was busted for doping this year. Americans Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs stayed patient amidst the hot early pace and placed fourth in 9:06.51 and sixth in 9:07.07, respectively.

In the women’s 100m hurdles final, Olympic champion Brianna McNeal defeated world record holder Keni Harrison, 12.61 to 12.63.

Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser continued her hot streak this season in the 400m and handily defeated reigning world champion Phyllis Francis of the U.S., 49.33 to 50.07.

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