1. Christian Coleman (100m)

Our No.1 athlete to watch out for in London is Christian Coleman who currently tops the world standings in no other event than the men’s 100m!

Coleman made his first US senior team last year after finishing 6th at the US Olympic Trials in 2016 with a then Personal Best (PB) of 9.95s, and was a part of the men’s 4x100m team to Rio where he ran in the qualifying rounds.

Christian Coleman narrowly lost the men’s 100m final to Justin Gatlin during the US Trials. (Photo Credit: Rich Pedroncelli, AP)

However, the youngster earned his place in the individual event this time around after narrowly losing the men’s 100m final to Justin Gatlin at the 2017 US Trials, succumbing to his only defeat of the season. He had initially clocked the overall fastest time of 9.93s in the heats, and then dominated the standings in the semis with 10.02s.

Coleman became the only male US sprinter to qualify for the sprint double ahead of London 2017 after finishing a hundredth of a second behind Ameer Webb who won the 200m final in Sacramento in a time of 20.09s. Nevertheless, the 21-year old was only entered in for the 100m at the World Championships because he has had a lengthy collegiate season, competing in 48 races (indoors and outdoors).

Coleman won the NCAA sprint double and heads to London as the World Leader in the 100m. (Photo Credit: 247sports.com)

This year has been an outstanding one for the University of Tennessee Junior who became the first sprinter to capture a rare indoor-outdoor double at the NCAA championships since Gatlin did same in 2002, winning the 100m/200m outdoors and 60m/200m indoors.

Coleman became the 4th fastest American ever after Tyson Gay (9.69s), Gatlin (9.74s), and Maurice Greene (9.79s) when he shattered the previous NCAA record of 9.89s enroute his victory in Heat 1 of the men’s 100m semifinal at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June, setting the World Lead (WL) of 9.82s.

Christian Coleman raced to the world’s fastest time in 2017 during the NCAA semis. (Photo Credit: Kirby Lee USA TODAY Sports)

This time has catapulted the emerging sprinter into the Top 10 all-time list! He is also ranked 6th on the 2017 world list in the 200m with his time of 19.98s. In London, Coleman will aim to upstage some of the bigger names like Trayvon Bromell and Andre De Grasse did at the Beijing World Championships two years ago, and we can’t help but ask: could he be the next Usain Bolt?

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently hosts a weekly Track and Field column in the Vanguard Newspaper.

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