China's superstar sprinter blazes to third straight triumph in 60m
Chinese sprint megastar Su Bingtian capped his stunning start to the year by claiming the overall men's 60m title at the IAAF World Indoor Tour in Glasgow, Scotland, on Sunday.
The 28-year-old completed a hat-trick of victories on the tour by clocking 6.50 seconds, fending off nearest title rival American Mike Rodgers by 0.04 sec.
Su topped the final 60m standings with 30 points, eight ahead of Rodgers.
"From the first day I started this year's journey, I never expected to claim the overall victory," said Su.
"At last I got it with 6.50 seconds. Still, my performance today was not perfect. I'll present the best version of me at the upcoming World Indoor Championships."
There was further success for China in Glasgow as Shi Yuhao won the men's long jump competition.
The Asian indoor champion secured victory with a leap of 8.13m, the only eight-meter jump of the event. Compatriot Huang Changzhou was third with a leap of 7.99m.
Su has been in scintillating form indoors this year, winning four races and twice breaking the Asian 60m record－boding well for his chances at the World Indoors from March 1-4 in Birmingham.
He first broke the Asian 60m record by clocking 6.47 in Karlsruhe, Germany, on Feb 3 before lowering the mark for the second time in four days with 6.43 seconds in Dusseldorf.
Su had been pondering retirement but is now fully focused on reaching the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"I told my wife last year I might call it quits this season," said the Zhongshan-born Su, who in 2015 became the first Asia-born sprinter to break the 10-second plateau over 100m.
"But I found I still have dreams to achieve, and my wife fully supports my decision.
"Now I tell myself to keep training and hopefully I can compete again at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"I want to attribute my success to my whole team, they are really great and we will continue to fight in the future and to enjoy the competition, enjoy the run."
Su led China's 4x100 relay team to a fourth-place finish at the 2016 Rio Games, and with new talent like Xie Zhenye coming through, their sights are firmly focused on medals in Tokyo.
Xie, a 24-year-old from Zhejiang province, is aiming to become just the third Asiaborn athlete to run a sub-10-second 100－and his recent form indicates he can do it.
At September's National Games, he dethroned Su over 100m, while his confidence was further boosted last year by two wind-assisted sub-10s and breaking his own national record by clocking 20.20 over 200m.
"For me, I just want to run a little faster every year and I want to keep improving my performance," Xie said recently.
"My achievements so far prove that I'm going in the right direction.
"It's highly possible that I can run under 10 seconds this year."