Su Bingtian of China celebrates after the men's 60 metres final during the IAAF World Indoor Championships at Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, Britain on March 3, 2018. Su took the silver with 6.42 seconds. (Xinhua/Han Yan)
Su Bingtian became the first male Chinese sprinter to win a global medal in an individual event as he took the silver in the men's 60 meters final at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham on Saturday.
The 28-year-old, who became the first Asian-born athlete to run under 10 seconds in 2015, clocked a personal best of 6.42 seconds, breaking the Asian record of 6.43 set by himself last month.
American Christian Coleman, who holds the world record of 6.34 seconds, stole a gap of Su on the drive out of the blocks and maintained it to the line, finishing in 6.37.
The 28-year-old Su, hitherto unbeaten on the boards this season, became the most successful Asian athlete in the 60m of the World Indoor Championships. Qatar's Talal Mansoor won the bronze in the 1993 Toronto tournament and his compatriot Femi Ogunode also finished third four years ago at Sopot.
Coleman's US colleague Ronnie Baker took the bronze in 6.44. Su's Chinese teammate Xie Zhenye finished fourth again following his same performance in Portland in a personal best of 6.52.
Su, competing in his fourth indoor worlds, became only the fifth male Chinese athlete to snatch a world indoor medal, following in the footsteps of Liu Xiang, who won his first senior global medal - bronze in the 60m hurdles - at the 2003 championships in the same arena.
"Liu Xiang is my idol and also my friend," said Su. "I was always so close to a medal in recent championships and finally I got one. Back home, I expect there will be a big celebration as this is my dream come true."
Su said, "Actually I thought that I could win a bronze. There is no difference between silver and bronze. Even a bronze could prove that Chinese sprinters have made breakthrough in major world competitions."
Su, who led China to the second place of men's 4x100m relay at the 2015 Beijing World Championships, added, "In the past four years, Chinese sprinters have made great improvement but we only lack a medal from individual events. Today the dream has come true. My next goal is to reach the 100m final at the Olympic Games. I will make more efforts and hopefully I can make it at Tokyo two years later."
Coleman, last year's world 100m silver medalist, said, "I made it through the snow; I got here. I felt pretty good. Me and my coach have been working a lot. I'm definitely proud of it."