Eugene (US), May 31 (IANS) China's sprinter Su Bingtian became the first Asian-born to officially beat the 10.00-seconds barrier in the men's 100 metres race here.
In Saturday's Eugene Grand Prix, the 1.71-metre-tall runner finished third at 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.
Asian-born athletes for years have been working hard to beat the 10 seconds barrier and 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.
Previously, China's Zhang Peimeng, who raced to a personal best of 10.00 at the 2013 Moscow world championships, was 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 2015.
"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," Su said.
"I hope in this year's world championships, I can work some miracles for my country in 100-m and 4x100-m 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 honoured to be present for the historical moment," he said.Published 31 May 2015, 10:43 IST