Charleston springs 100m surprise

25-year-old sprinter surges past 2019 world champion Coleman to win at US athletics championships

AFP July 08, 2023


Cravont Charleston surged past 2019 world champion Christian Coleman to win the men's 100m at the US athletics championships on Friday as Sha'Carri Richardson won the women's 100m to book her long anticipated World Championships berth.

The 25-year-old Charleston, who had never made it to the 100m final at a US championships before, clocked 9.95sec to edge Coleman by one one-hundredth of a second with reigning 200m world champion Noah Lyles third in 10.00sec.

"Just keep running," Charleston said of his mindset as he trailed early in the race. "That's what I tried to do."

The trio will join reigning world champion Fred Kerley in the event at the World Championships in Budapest in August, trying to repeat the US sweep at last year's worlds in Eugene.

The two other members of the 2022 podium won't be there. Marvin Bracy-Williams's hopes of improving on his world silver evaporated when he was injured in the heats and failed to advance while bronze medalist Trayvon Bromell, racing through a painful bone spur on his right heel, finished sixth in the final and said he would soon be seeking surgery.

Richardson, meanwhile, will spearhead the US women's 100m challenge after booking her first world championships berth with an emotional victory in 10.82.

She'd set a personal best of 10.71 in Thursday's heats -- which stood as the top time in the world this year for a day until Shericka Jackson's 10.65 to win at the Jamaican championships on Friday.

Richardson, who had posted a 10.75 in the semi-finals, was the picture of determination on the start line, tossing away her bright red wig to reveal long braids before settling into the starting blocks.

A slow start left her some work to do, but she pulled away late to leave Brittany Brown second on 10.90sec with Tamari Davis third in 10.99.

"I'm ready mentally, physically and emotionally, and I'm here to stay," Richardson told broadcaster NBC after she had climbed into the stands to embrace a number of people.

The win was a vindication of sorts for Richardson, who was infamously barred from the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021 after testing positive for marijuana.

She then saw her hopes of competing for a medal at last year's World Championships vanish when she bombed out of the US trials.

"I'm not back," Richardson said. "I'm better."

In other events, Anna Hall grabbed a dominant victory in the heptathlon with a score of 6,677 points -- more than 300 points clear of runner-up Taliyah Brooks's 6,319.

Hall said she was satisfied with the score given that she didn't break training for the meet, and she's still hoping she can achieve her season aim of breaking 7,000 points in Budapest and improve on the world bronze she won last year.

Donald Scott won the men's triple jump with a leap of 17.22m, with Will Claye second at 16.98m.

Harrison Williams won the decathlon with a total of 8,630 points and Vashti Cunningham won the women's high jump with a clearance of 1.91m.

Former world record-holder Keni Harrison smoothly led the way into the 100m hurdles semi-finals with a time of 12.50sec. Nia Ali, the 2019 world champion, was second-quickest in 12.53.

Rai Benjamin, silver medallist at the Tokyo Olympics as well as the 2019 and 2022 World Championships, set the pace in the men's 400m hurdles heats with a time of 49.05.

With reigning world champion and world record-holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone focusing on the 400m flat, former 400m hurdles world record-holder Dalilah Muhammad – an Olympic gold medallist in 2016 and world champion in 2019 – topped the first-round times in 54.56.

McLaughlin-Levrone led the way into the 400m final with a time of 49.60 in the semis.


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