Did you hear what happened last Friday? Maybe you did. But also perhaps you only know part of the story.
Here it is: Christian Coleman, American sprint phenom and world championship silver medalist, went out and ran himself a world record in the 60-meter dash at the 2018 Clemson Invitational. Coleman crossed the finish line and smashed into a row of mattresses in 6.37 seconds. That’s a whole .02 seconds faster than one of the all-timers Maurice Greene’s record.
Here’s the video of the world record:
Since it was a Friday night, and it was an indoor meet, and since it’s kind of an arbitrary distance that doesn’t have an outdoor track equivalent, the mark was met with very little pomp–hell, this is our first article about it.
But it should have been! Because everything that happened afterward is kind of weird!
First, Clemson didn’t have drug testing set up on the premises. So Coleman had to get in his car and drive towards Atlanta, Georgia, before giving his urine sample to an official at “a roadside stop.”
The problem here is that though USATF requires drug testing within 24 hours of finishing the race, IAAF requires testing ON SITE in order for a mark to be ratified as a world record. Talk about a technicality, eh? There’s some rumblings out there on the internet that the IAAF also would like “the first passing of urine” to ratify a world record. Isn’t that wonderful.
Second, IAAF also requires any record-eligible marks under 400m to be run out of electronic starting blocks in order for reaction time to be recorded. Clemson, again, did not have such technology in place.
Now we have a double whammy! It’s likely that USATF will be fine with the whole thing and give him the American record, but the sticklers over at IAAF probably won’t ratify Coleman’s mark as a world record.
But hey, Christian, if you’re reading, we all know who the real number one is: