GBR – Morris, Coleman And Harrison Make It Good Night For USA In Birmingham

March 5, 2018

Three championship records, two other world leads and drama aplenty: just another night at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018.

GOLD AT LAST FOR MORRIS
A third-time clearance in the pole vault is exciting under any normal circumstances, but when the bar is set at 4.95m and a successful attempt will likely result in a world title, the added pressure makes it truly special.

Sandi Morris celebrates gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 (Getty Images)

Photo: Getty Images

 

Sandi Morris was the athlete in question.

Katerina Stefanidi, searching for the one title missing from her collection, had exited the competition with two failures at 4.90m following one at 4.85m, having required two attempts to make 4.75m and three to get over 4.80m.

Instead it was Anzhelika Sidorova who mounted the most serious challenge to Morris and, indeed, her record up to 4.90m had been flawless. But the US vaulter made 4.90m at the second attempt whereas the authorised neutral athlete took thee vaults.

Morris’s 4.95m makes her the third best performer in the pole vault indoors behind Jennifer Suhr and Yelena Isinbayeva. It was also her first global title following three successive silver medals.

COLEMAN COPES WITH PRESSURE
With talk of a possible world record reverberating around the stadium, the pressure was on Christian Coleman.

Christian Coleman wins the 60m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 (Getty Images)

Photo: Getty Images

 

Just 6.37 seconds later and the 21-year-old’s championship temperament was proven and the Birmingham fans were in raptures.

Christian Coleman wins the 60m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 (Getty Images)Christian Coleman wins the 60m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 (Getty Images) © Copyright

The US indoor champion was drawn alongside the man most likely to challenge, China’s Su Bingtian, and the IAAF World Indoor Tour winner was out alongside Coleman for the first 30 metres.

But that was where the world record-holder began to pull away.

Su’s efforts were rewarded with an Asian indoor record of 6.42, with USA’s Ronnie Baker taking bronze in 6.44.

CHANGE OF LUCK FOR HARRISON
World 100m hurdles record-holder Kendra Harrison ended a long and frustrating wait for a first international title, producing a classy performance to win the 60m hurdles in a championship record and personal best of 7.70, tying the North American record.

Christina Manning, Kendra Harrison and Nadien Visser at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 (Getty Images)

Photo: Getty Images

 

Two years ago in Portland the now 25-year-old had hit the first hurdle in the final, finishing eighth having started as favourite, but she erased those memories, getting off to a flying start and moving clear off hurdle three.

Christina Manning, Kendra Harrison and Nadien Visser at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 (Getty Images)Christina Manning, Kendra Harrison and Nadien Visser at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 (Getty Images) © Copyright

Harrison’s US teammate Christina Manning took silver in 7.79 and the Netherlands’ Nadine Visser denied the US trio a podium sweep, taking bronze in 7.84, narrowly missing breaking the national record she had set in the semi-final earlier in the session.

CLAYE CLAIMS CLOSE CONTEST
Just three centimetres separated the champion Will Claye, the silver medallist Almir dos Santos and Nelson Evora in third place in yet another compelling horizontal jump competition.

Evora, the 2008 Olympic champion and, at 33 the elder statesman of world triple jumping, had led with a first-round 17.14m and extended his advantage with a national record of 17.40m in the third, but Claye, the world indoor champion in 2012, responded with 17.43m in the fourth, which proved to be enough for the win.

Brazil’s Dos Santos, this season’s surprise package, then improved his own PB in the fifth to 17.41m to snatch the silver, by far the biggest achievement of his career so far.

SOURCE: IAAF

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