Christian Coleman to make Diamond League debut in Shanghai
Coleman set the sprints world alight this winter when he smashed the 20-year-old world indoor 60m record held by 2000 Olympic champion Maurice Greene and won his first global title at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
The 22-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia, stormed through the 60m dash in 6.34 seconds at the US Indoor Championships on 18 February, shaving 0.05s from Greene’s mark, and went on to win the world title ahead of Su in a scintillating championships record of 6.37.
Coleman ran his 100m best of 9.82 at the US collegiate championships last June, representing Tennessee, and claimed a silver medal at the outdoor World Championships in London two months later where he finished ahead of Usain Bolt.
Already dubbed ‘the new Bolt’ by some, Coleman broke 10 seconds nine times last season and lowered his 200m PB to 19.85.
He will mark his first outing on the world’s premier one-day circuit by renewing his burgeoning rivalry with the in-form Su who set the Chinese 100m record in 2015 and broke the Asian 60m record three times during the recent indoor season.
The 28-year-old from Guangzhou ran 6.42 at the World Indoors in Birmingham to go equal fifth on the world all-time list and clinch a silver behind Coleman. He clocked 10.09 to win the 100m last year ahead of a top quality field, succeeding Justin Gatlin as the Shanghai 100m winner.
Gatlin clocked 9.94 at the same meeting two years ago and the world champion returns this time keen to regain his crown.
Canada’s Olympic bronze medallist, Andre de Grasse, will also be in the mix on 12 May as he returns to action after straining his hamstring before the World Championships last summer, as will Chijindu Ujah, a member of Britain’s gold medal-winning sprint relay squad in London.
Then there’s the world 200m champion, Ramil Guliyev from Turkey and Japanese record holder Yoshihide Kiryu – two more sub-10 men.
Su will have company in Xie Zhenye, who holds the Chinese 200m record and was Asian champion over that distance in 2013. He was also fourth over 60m at this year’s world indoors so will be an other familiar rival to Coleman.
The women’s 200m line-up is no less impressive with two-time world champion Dafne Schippers making her Shanghai debut against Jamaica’s double Olympic sprint champion, Elaine Thompson, who lit up the meeting last year when she blazed to a 10.78 victory in the 100m.
Marie Josée Ta Lou was third in that race and returns for the longer sprint in 2018. She won two silvers for the Ivory Coast at last summer’s London Worlds.
Shanghai also welcomes back Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the Bahamian Olympic champion over 400m who broke 50 seconds to win the one-lap race last year, but steps down in distance after taking the Commonwealth Games crown at 200m earlier this month.
The US threat will come from world finalists Kimberlyn Duncan and Deejah Stevens, plus last year’s national collegiate champion, Kyra Jefferson.
Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji, a world indoor bronze medallist at 60m this year, will look to impress at the longer distance, while the domestic challenge is provided by Wei Yongji, a two-time Asian 100m champion.
More big names will be announced for the Shanghai Diamond League meeting in the coming weeks.
The 2018 Shanghai Diamond League meeting on 12 May will include 16 events, eight for men (100m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 110m hurdles, pole vault, long jump) and eight for women (200m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 3000m steeplechase, high jump, triple jump, shot put, javelin).