Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian celebrates with Olympic and world champion Liu Xiang after running 9.99 seconds in Eugene Grand Prix on May 30 in the United States. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)
EUGENE, United States, May 30 (Xinhua) -- China's sprinter Su Bingtian became the first Asian-born to officially beat the 10.00 seconds barrier in the men's 100 meters.
In Saturday's Eugene Grand Prix, the 1.71m-tall runner finished third in 9.99 seconds, behind American Tyson Gay in 9.88 and Mike Rodgers in 9.90.
"I am so proud for my result. I can write my name into history now and will work harder and run faster," said the 25-year-old.
Su Bingtian shakes his fist after running 9.99 seconds in Eugene Grand Prix on May 30 in the United States. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)
Although Qatar's Nigerian-born Femi Ogunode became the fastest man on the continent in last year's Asian Games when he clocked 9.93 seconds in the 100 meters, Asian-born athletes had been working hard for years to beat 10 seconds barrier until Su.
Previously, China's Zhang Peimeng, who raced to his personal best of 10.00 in 2013 Moscow world championships, is considered the closest to beating the barrier, together with Japanese teenager Yoshihide Kiryu, who ran a wind-assisted unofficial 9.87 at a meet in Austin, Texas in March.
Su was filled with confidence and started to set his sight on "creating miracles" for China in August's world championships at the famous "Bird's Nest" National Stadium in Beijing.
"This is definitely a huge boost for me. Last time in Moscow, Zhang Peimeng was ranked ninth with 10 seconds, which made me feel that we are very close to entering the top eight and beating 10 seconds," he said.
"I hope in this year's world championships, I can work some miracles for my country in 100m and 4x100m relay," he said.
China's world and Olympics 110m hurdles champion Liu Xiang witnessed Su's record-breaking performance.
"You are great! You are great!" said Liu, who announced retirement in May.
"I told him to be himself and hold on to the last moment. And he did it. I am so honored to be present for the historical moment," he said.