September 28, 2019 / 10:16 PM / 20 days ago

Coleman says he is not ready to replace Bolt

DOHA (Reuters) - Christian Coleman said he was not ready to become the face of athletics and fill the void left by the retirement of the great Usain Bolt after winning gold in the 100 metres at the world championships on Saturday.

Sep 28, 2019; Doha, Qatar; Christian Coleman (USA) poses with the Untied States flag after winning the 100m in 9.76 during the IAAF World Athletics Championships at Khalifa International Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Coleman clocked a season’s best time of 9.76 seconds, edging fellow American Justin Gatlin to be crowned the world’s fastest man.

Asked if he was ready become the new face of the sport, Coleman said: “This is not something I really focus on.

“There are so many guys who are hungry, want to win, are competitive, really talented and great athletes,” the 23-year-old added. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be one guy.”

Bolt, who won eight Olympic gold medals and led Jamaica through a golden era in sprinting, retired after the 2017 world championships.

“The area that Bolt was dominating, it just so happened to be because he was just winning everything and running spectacular times, but there are so many people that are doing really good things right now,” Coleman said.

“I think everybody should be celebrated.”

Coleman came into the championships after he was charged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency last month with three failures to properly file whereabouts information in a 12-month period

He escaped what could have been an automatic ban when it was ruled that one of the tests had to be backdated to outside the window.

“I didn’t do anything wrong, this is why I’m here today,” Coleman said.

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Gene Cherry, editing by Ed Osmond

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