Phyllis Francis breaking the 400m meeting record in Lignano (Paolo Sant/Andrea Almacolle/Benedetta Biscaro (organisers)) © Copyright
General News Boston, USA

Francis and Coleman to lead strong Boston sprint fields

World 400m champion Phyllis Francis and world 100m silver medallist Christian Coleman will lead strong sprint fields at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, the fourth stop on the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour, on 10 February in Boston.

Francis, who'll be headlining the 400m, celebrated a major breakthrough in 2017. After winning the US indoor title over 300m, Francis, 25, went on to win the world title with a 49.92 lifetime best.

In Boston, Francis will be racing against meeting record-holder Natasha Hastings, who was fourth in the 400m at the 2016 Olympic Games; Shakima Wimbley, the 2017 NCAA indoor 400m champion; and Shamier Little, the 2015 world silver medalist in the 400m hurdles.

Coleman, coming off a sensational season of his own, will be headlining the men’s 60m. Last year, the 21-year-old won NCAA titles at 60m and 200m indoors and at 100m and 200m outdoors. He then made an almost seamless transition to the global stage, winning silver medals in the 100m and the 4x100m at the IAAF World Championships London 2017. His best time of 9.82 was the fastest in the world last year.

 

US sprinter Christian Coleman (Getty Images)US sprinter Christian Coleman (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

He'll face compatriots Noah Lyles and Cameron Burrell. Lyles produced a noteworthy 2017 indoor season, culminating with a 31.87 world best over 300m. Though injury kept him out of the US selection meeting for the World Championships, Lyles recovered by the end of the season to win the IAAF Diamond League 200m title.

Burrell, in his final year as a student at the University of Houston, is coached by his father, Leroy Burrell, the former 100m world record-holder. He finished second to Coleman in both the 60m and 100m at the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships, and recorded a best of 9.93, making him the sixth fastest man in the world over 100m in 2017.

Hassan, Sharp and Rogers to tussle at 800m

In what’s shaping up to be an intriguing women’s 800m, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands will feature against Great Britain’s Lynsey Sharp and Raevyn Rogers of the US.

Hassan, the world indoor 1500m champion, has proven world class across the middle distances. In 2017 she was the fourth-fastest woman in the world over 800m and won 5000m bronze at the World Championships. Sharp won the 2012 European 800m title and was a finalist at last summer's World Championships. Rogers, the NCAA record-holder, won two indoor and three outdoor NCAA titles over the distance while at the University of Oregon and finished fourth at the US Championships last year.

 

Sifan Hassan after winning the 1500m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 (Getty Images)Sifan Hassan after winning the 1500m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 (Getty Images) © Copyright

 

The men's 60m and women's 400m are among the scoring disciplines for the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour in which athletes collect points towards the overall title in each event. The individual overall winner of each discipline upon conclusion of the tour will receive US$20,000 prize money and automatically qualify for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 by wild card.

Organisers for the IAAF

2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour
3 Feb – Karlsruhe
6 Feb – Düsseldorf
8 Feb – Madrid
10 Feb – Boston
15 Feb – Torun
25 Feb – Glasgow