Christian Coleman, the American sprinter and member of the USA's 4x100m relay team, is confident in the team's ability to challenge and potentially break Jamaica's long-standing 4x100m relay world record of 36.84 seconds, set at the 2012 London Olympics by Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake, and Usain Bolt.

Speaking after a press conference in Jamaica last week Thursday before he participated in the Jamaica Athletics Invitational on Saturday, Coleman emphasized the USA's recent relay performance of 37.40 at recent World Relays in the Bahamas, despite key athletes like himself, Fred Kerley, and Erriyon Knighton missing from the team.

A member of the USA team that ran 37.10 at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Coleman suggested that his country’s top sprinters executing the essential elements of relay running like smoother baton exchanges, could lead to significant improvements.

"I think it's really not that difficult. It's not that hard. We make it a lot harder than it needs to be," Coleman explained. "If we just space those zones out, everybody focuses on their job, I think we have all the speed and talent to tackle that world record."

Coleman's confidence in the team's abilities underscores their ambitions for the upcoming track and field season, especially at the Olympic Games in Paris where the USA will start as hot favourites to win the gold medal.

While breaking records isn't the primary focus, Coleman believes that with proper execution and teamwork, they can challenge historic achievements like Jamaica's 4x100m world record.

With that in mind, what leg does Coleman believe is the best fit for him?

"We talk about it all the time because I feel like I can do first leg just because I know what I'm gonna do. I feel like when I do my thing, it takes a lot of the pressure off the rest of the team because I'm gonna get us out and I know when the stick is moving through that zone and second leg is going down the back-stretch and we already in the lead, everybody else can just kind of relax and just bring it home.

“But I feel if we just going in terms of trying to just run our absolute best time, I don't know if it might be suitable for me to run first leg, ‘because I feel like I'm full well capable of running any leg. I trust myself more than anybody when it comes to working the zone and getting it through. So I don't know, second, third, fourth, whatever they need me at, obviously I'm gonna do it.”

On Saturday, Coleman was fifth in the 200m in 20.46. Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes claimed victory with a sizzling run of 19.96. The USA’s Fred Kerley was second in 20.17 with Frenchman Pablo Mateo not far behind in 20.20 for third.

 

 

 

 

 

In every aspect of life, moments of triumph are often accompanied by tears of joy, and for Jamaican sprinter Krystal Sloley, achieving a massive personal best of 11.09 seconds was no exception. Immediately after she crossed the finish line in second position in the women’s 100m at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, Sloley’s emotions overflowed, tears streaming down her face as she celebrated a milestone in her athletic journey.

Many might not understand why her accomplishment is such a big deal, but for Sloley, the road to get there has been marked by challenges, setbacks, and even self-doubt. But through it all, she remained steadfast in her pursuit of excellence.

In fact, it was only a week ago that Sloley lowered her personal best from 11.27s to 11.25s, which she took apart with the breathtaking performance behind Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou-Smith, who opened her season with an impressive 10.91s clocking at the National Stadium, on Saturday.

“It hasn't been easy. It has been an uphill battle with my mental life and self-belief, even in warm up, I was just talking to myself, coaching myself, because my weakest point was my start and I knew that once I got that, the rest is history. I was not expecting such a fast time, maybe 11.1, but I am happy at the outcome,” Sloley said, her voice trembling with emotion.

“It was such a pleasure to feed off of the energy of Marie and the other runners. I knew it was a high-quality field, because I was originally supposed to run in the B final, and while warming up, I realized I was in the A final against the top ladies. I really wish I had more time to prepare myself mentally before I came out here physically, but it worked out for the best,” she added.

Sloley, who found her passion for track and field at Ardenne Preparatory, and later honed her craft at Campion College, recalled how her journey to the triumphant moment was filled with highs and lows, from gruelling training sessions to heartbreaking defeats. But with each setback, particularly now at the senior level at the University of Technology – where she is studying Architecture –she emerged stronger and more determined than ever, fuelled by a burning desire to prove herself on the world stage.

“It was definitely hard. I would be lying if I said it was easy in terms of how I endured the training sessions, because it's not just doing training sessions with MVP (Track Club), it's the fact that I have to strike a definitive balance between not just MVP’s gruelling training, but also architecture, and to me, I feel like that's two degrees,” Sloley said with a chuckle.

She continued: “Coming from such a rigorous academic program such as Campion and also doing track and field there, I found it manageable, and I feel like I excelled pretty well through the seven years doing both academic and track and field. But I knew that entering a new level of not just training, it's professional training, and not just regular school, it's university…It's my degree, I knew it would be a next step, but I never knew that the thread of that step would have been so steep.

“So, it was definitely hard. I remember countless times crying on the dorm floor, wondering how I'm going to manage to strike the balance at this level. Even before I started university, it was questionable whether or not I was going to actually stop track and field to pursue the degree and then continue after, but I must say, God carried me through and here I am now.”

As she reflected on her journey, the 22-year-old third-year student’s thoughts turned to her mother, whose unwavering support has been the driving force behind her pursuit of glory.

"My mother is my rock, my biggest inspiration. It’s like when the momentum on the swing drops, she's been that push that you need on your back to continue swinging. She has encouraged me through it all, even those questionable doubts that I had about whether to stop track and field or pursue school,” Sloley told SportsMax.TV.

“She's been my prayer warrior, so she has been behind me, beside me, pulling me, she's been that driving force for me, my biggest motivation. She never lived the life that she gave me, so that also motivates me to reward her for what she has done for me because I'm so grateful and thankful for her,” she shared.

Besides her new personal best clocking, Sloley described making Jamaica’s team to the 2019 NACAC Championships as her biggest accomplishment, and with the memory of that outing in Mexico still very much fresh on her mind, she now has her sights set on repeating the feat sooner rather than later.