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At USATF Indoors in Albuquerque, Coleman is slated to race the first round on Friday and the semifinals and final on Saturday. His competition includes 2016 Olympian Marvin Bracy and Demek Kemp, the world’s fastest 60m sprinter this season (6.50 seconds).
“I wanted David in the squad. I wanted him to play well enough to set an example for the rest of the players in that squad with the way he carries himself, everything that he’d done to bring the Olympic Games to this country,” Pearce said. “I was desperate for David to be in that squad, but I also, being the football man in me, I wanted it to be a fair playing field for every player, so it was only ever going to be in my mind picked on ability.
Pearce had three over-age spots for players born before Jan. 1, 1989, like the then-37-year-old Beckham. He went with Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards. He said on Talksport that Beckham’s age was not the reason he was left off (Giggs was 38).
Pearce, speaking on Talksport radio earlier this month, said he was under pressure “like you would never know” to pick Beckham for the first British Olympic soccer team since 1960.
“I was backed into a corner in many ways and couldn’t pick him purely because I knew I’d water the squad down if I did.”
Christian Coleman, the world’s fastest man each of the last three years, headlines the USATF Indoor Championships, live on NBC Sports on Friday and Saturday.
Coleman did not run indoors in 2019 — a non-indoor championship year. Later in the summer and fall, he swept national and world titles at 100m to become the favorite in the Olympics’ marquee event.
USATF Indoor Championships broadcast schedule
Christian Coleman is among a host of Olympic and world medalists competing at the USATF Indoor Championships, live on NBC Sports.