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Fayetteville’s Christian Coleman sets world record in 60-meter dash

Christian Coleman headed back to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday, not overly impressed with himself, but thankful to have set the world record in the 60 meters. 

“I didn’t really feel like it was one of my best races,” Coleman said after running a world record time of 6.37 seconds in the 60-meter dash at the Clemson Invitational on Friday. “I felt like I was just knocking the dust off.” 

Instead, Coleman, who attended Our Lady Of Mercy Catholic High School in Fayetteville, knocked everyone’s socks off with his blazing sprint, fulfilling the vision that former world record holder Maurice Greene had shared with him. 

Greene, a three-time world champion in the 100 meters and two-time Olympics gold medal winner, had held the 60-meters record for nearly 20 years, running a 6.39-second time in 1998 and again in 2001. 

“That’s what means a lot to me, because I know Maurice Greene personally, and he told me he wanted me to break the record,” said the 21-year-old Coleman, who’s finishing his degree at UT. 

“So that was in the back of my mind, but I didn’t realize I had the capability to do it in the first meet.” 

Indeed, it was Coleman’s first competition of 2018, and he’s hoping it can springboard him to an invitation to the Millrose Games, an event in New York which bills itself as “The World’s Longest-Running And Most Prestigious Indoor Track & Field Competition.” 

Running with Nike sponsorship in his first year as a professional, Coleman was the 2017 USTFCCCA National Outdoor and National Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. He also won the silver medal in the 100 meters at the IAAF World Championships in London last summer, beating Usain Bolt in head-to-head matchups twice at the event. 

Coleman said if a spot doesn’t open up in the Feb. 3 Millrose Games (TV: NBCSN), his next event will be Feb. 10 in Boston leading up to the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., Feb. 17-19. 

Coleman continued to take his success in stride Friday night. His modest post-race celebration included treating himself to a chicken wraps dinner. 

“I just plan to have the same work ethic and continue to get better,” Coleman said. “So, just go back to the drawing board and continue get better.”

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