Former Tennessee Volunteer Christian Coleman has taken Track and Field by storm. Many people thought that the sport as a whole would fall off in terms of popularity after multi-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt retired, but that may not be the case.
Coleman recently ran the fastest 100m dash time on the last three years at the Bruxelles Memorial van Damme meet in Belgium, running at 9.79 seconds. To put this in perspective, Usain Bolt’s 100m world record is 9.58.
This wasn’t Coleman’s only impressive feat of the season, however. On January 19th, he set a new world record at the Clemson Invitational in his first meet of the season in the 60m dash. His time, 6.37 seconds, beat Maurice Greene’s daunting former world record (6.39), which had stood since 1998.
Coleman’s 9.79 is tied for the 34th fastest 100m dash ever and makes him the 8th fastest man to ever run the 100m, per All-time Athletics.
During his time at the University of Tennessee, Coleman was honored as a First-Team All-American for both the 100 and 200m dash, as well as being named the 2017 USTFCCCA National Indoor Runner of the Year, among other awards. The former Vol also holds the school records for the 60m dash (6.45 seconds) and the 100m dash (9.82 seconds), beating out former Vol great Justin Gatlin. Coleman turned professional in June of 2017, ending his college career, by signing an endorsement deal with Nike.
While attaining the level of success that Usain Bolt accomplished may seem like an unrealistic expectation, Coleman may just be the man for the challenge. NBC Sports analyst Ato Boldon said that, “It could be Christian Coleman…That last race he had [the 9.79]…to end the season with that sort of statement, to say I’ve gone to a place none of you guys have ever been, makes him the man unless I see differently.”
Whether he will be the next Usain Bolt or not is a matter of debate. But one thing is for certain- Christian Coleman will be a household name when the next Summer Olympics come around.