DOHA, Qatar (AP) — What Christian Coleman really needed were a couple of days off.
A day after winning his world championship at 100 meters, the American sprinter pulled out of the 200-meter preliminaries, which were set to begin Sunday.
“Just feeling a little sore,” Coleman told The Associated Press, while waiting in the hallway for his medal ceremony to begin.
He said he would be available for the 4×100 relays, which begin Friday.
Coleman won the 100 in a runaway, clocking a personal-best of 9.76 seconds and beating Justin Gatlin to the line by .13 seconds — the largest margin of victory at worlds or the Olympics since 2011.
His plan had been to go for the 100-200 double, but when he woke up Sunday, that plan changed.
“No big deal,” he said. “It’s been a long season.”
Most track seasons start winding down around the start of September, but this one has been stretched out due to the IAAF’s decision to bring the world championships to the desert, where the highs in Doha are still hovering around 105 (38 Celsius) in the first full week of fall.
With Coleman out of the mix, the path gets clearer for American Noah Lyles, who has the world’s leading time this year at 19.50 seconds. Canada’s Andre De Grasse is expected to be in the mix, as will Divine Oruduru of Nigeria, the NCAA champion at both 100 and 200 meters.
After his victory, Coleman was hit with several questions about his whereabouts case.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency started a case, then later dropped it, after authorities determined Coleman had not violated a rule requiring athletes to keep current records of where they plan to be each day so they can be tested with no advance notice.
He insisted the fallout from the case hasn’t soured his celebration.
“I feel pretty good,” Coleman said. “I’m a gold medalist. Ran a personal best. Can’t get any better than that.”
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