by Jeff Hollobaugh
“You know,” says a reflective Christian Coleman, “That’s something you dream about as a kid growing up. Running track, breaking the World Record.
“As a competitor that means a lot to me because you have done something that nobody has ever done before. I put a lot of work and a lot of time into my craft. I think I’m really blessed and it’s all paying off.”
With his 6.34, the Tennessee alum engraved his name in history. However, he is anything but satisfied.
“Overall it was probably a B,” he says, grading his effort on a demanding scale. “I would definitely give my start—in comparison to where it has been in the past—maybe a C.
“I would give my competitiveness and my willingness to go get it an A+. I would give the end of my race, where I stood up and started running—you know I have pretty decent form and I’ve been working on my top speed—I would give that an A.
“But overall, it’s a B, but I came up with the win and there is still a lot more to improve on. That was just really the whole goal for the weekend, just to come out with the win.” Though there is plenty of work left to do with coach Tim Hall, he adds, “We both have come a long way since we started working together in my freshman year at Tennessee. It was a special moment for both of us.
“Moments like that don’t create themselves. You have to create that moment, create that environment and you have to be prepared for it. I came into the championships knowing that the 60m was going to be the last race. Everybody was looking forward to it, and I knew that it would really be a special moment that I wanted to take advantage of, so I was ready and when the moment came, everything wasn’t perfect, but I wanted to put on a good show.”
He calls Ronnie Baker’s runner-up performance “pretty incredible,” adding, “We both made history. The fastest 60m race, pretty much ever. For him to run 6.40 and to get 2nd, I think that’s really going to motivate him to keep at it and get faster so I have got to make sure that I am on my A game.”
The World Record doesn’t change any of Coleman’s outdoor expectations, but he says that it provides confirmation that he and Hall are on the right track.
“My outdoor goals are pretty much the same. I’m not going to shoot for a specific time or anything like that, but I want to continue to get better and I think I’m on pace for that. I want to run outdoors with good form and I want to run faster than I did last year.”
Unlike many sprint greats in recent years, he doesn’t see himself specializing in the 100: “I want to make sure that I’m still on my A-game in the 200 as well as the 100 to be prepared going into the World Championships the next year. I will be running both events this summer. I’m looking forward to it.”
As for his plans for the upcoming World Indoor, “My plan is to win,” he says with a laugh. “I think that’s everybody’s plan. But I’m going to a championship and that’s the goal, to come out with the gold medal.
“I will be prepared for it. Hopefully I can go faster.”