KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Former Tennessee track star Christian Coleman has accomplished so much in the past year of his life.
Win four sprint national championships in one year. Check.
Compete and place second twice at the IAAF World Championships. Check.
Have an undefeated 2-0 record against renowned Olympic gold-medal sprinter Usain Bolt. Check.
Coleman’s life will shift drastically into a different gear Wednesday, though. He returns to Tennessee to take classes to finish his degree in sport management.
One of the fastest men in the world will carry his books as a normal college student once again.
Coleman said at a press conference Tuesday that his life might be a little different, but he still feels the same.
“I’ve had a few people recognize me,” Coleman said. “But I have the same friends from when I came in as a freshman. When I’m around them, it’s just normal.
“A few people have recognized me and it’s a great feeling. I’ve put in a lot of hard work and it’s nice to get the recognition they feel I deserve. I feel like a regular student.”
Coleman won the 60-meter and 200-meter indoor and the 100-meter and 200-meter outdoor national championships before turning pro. He has signed a deal with Nike and won silver in the 100-meter and 4×100-meter sprints at the worlds in London.
Coleman said he doesn’t have many goals set in the short-term other than remaining one of the fastest people on the planet.
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“Over the next year I haven’t really set my specific goals,” Coleman said. “I just want to improve. A lot of people talk about your first professional year and you run at the same level. That’s what I’m really just focused on. Just maintain and make sure I’m on the top of my game.”
Coleman will keep working and maintaining his abilities, but with an eye toward the future. He has the talent to perform very well in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.
“Any young person growing up in this sport of track and field, that’s the pinnacle of the sport,” Coleman said. “You want to be on that level and win an Olympic gold medal. That’s in the back of my head. Three years from now I want to make sure I’m on that stage. I just got to take it one year at a time, really one race and one practice at a time.”
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