With Christian Coleman banned, who are the favourites for the blue riband event at next year’s Games?
As the reigning world champion and the only athlete to have broken 9.80 in the past five years, Christian Coleman (9.76 PB) had been a big favourite to win the Olympic 100m title in Tokyo next summer.
That was, until he was handed a two-year ban for whereabouts failures.
Unless the American successfully appeals his suspension or receives a reduction of the sanction, he will not be able to compete until May 13, 2022, ruling him out of racing the blue riband event at next year’s Games.
So who now is the favourite? We take a look at some of the contenders.
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The American 23-year-old (pictured below) is the reigning world 200m champion and his 100m honours include last year’s Diamond League victory (he won the 200m title too) and a PB of 9.86. That PB ranks him joint second behind Coleman on times recorded in the past four years. Could the double be on in Tokyo?
ANDRE DE GRASSE
The consistent Canadian has five individual global medals to his name, having claimed Olympic 200m silver and 100m bronze in Rio, plus world medals of the same colour from Doha and a 100m bronze from Beijing. Can he now add gold to the collection? His PB is 9.90, clocked last year.
Like Lyles and Michael Norman, Nigeria’s double 2019 NCAA champion Oduduru also has a PB of 9.86, with that time ranking the trio second behind Coleman during the past few years. An interview with him at the 2013 World U18 Championships went viral as he described the 200m final as being “a deadly day.” Will the same be the case for the 2021 Olympic 100m final?
The 2016 world indoor 60m champion (pictured below) has battled injury issues since that year but returned this summer to clock 9.90 for his fastest 100m for four years. Before his injury struggles he won world 100m bronze in Beijing and his PB of 9.84 was also run in 2015.
His 9.91 PB ranks him joint second on the UK all-time list and in the past he has said he believes he can run 9.8, “possibly a 9.7”. The 2018 European champion finished sixth in the world final in Doha last year and is one of a number of British sprinters capable of making an impact such as, among others, Reece Prescod and CJ Ujah.
The American ran his PB of 9.87 in 2018, putting him second on that year’s rankings behind Coleman and ahead of Lyles. He won world indoor 60m bronze in 2018 and beat Coleman twice that year but had an injury-hit 2019.
The South African (pictured below) has had a consistent few years (he ran his 9.89 PB in 2016) and will want to challenge for his first global medal after finishing fourth at last year’s world championships and fifth at both the 2017 world championships and 2016 Olympics.
He may be aged 39 by the time the Games come around but so far the controversial sprinter, who has served two doping bans, has outrun Father Time. Could he continue and add to his haul of five Olympic and 10 outdoor world medals?
Yes we know he has retired, but we still can’t leave him off the list. Now the sprint star has an extra year to prepare for an Olympic title defence… might he!?
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