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Sha'Carri Richardson and Christian Coleman teaming up—Is this the dream team for Paris 2024?

The story began on the banks of the Danube during the 2023 World Athletics Championships. While we wait to see if Sha’Carri Richardson and Christian Coleman’s rumored hook-up will bloom on the banks of the Seine, the journey starts very differently for each of them. Sha’Carri will land in Paris as the brightest hope for the USA in 100m. But Coleman, chasing double sprints, could not even enter the national squad. The debacle seemed to have led him to make some changes. And that once again took him towards Sha’Carri Richardson!

In a July 9 X post, Track Spice reported that Christian Coleman was spotted training with Dennis Mitchell at the Star Athletics Track Club. Yes, you got that right! That is where Sha’Carri Richardson also trains. But that was not all. Soon anticipations started flying that Coleman might have split with his longtime coach, Tim Hall.

Hall has been with Coleman since his collegiate days at Tennessee. All of Coleman’s Jaw-dropping races have come under the aegis of Hall. At 28, Coleman’s Personal Best (PB) in the 100m is 9.76 seconds, clocked during his gold-winning run at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha. That made him the sixth fastest man in history. Coleman holds the world record in the 60m with a time of 6.34 seconds along with multiple NCAA titles. In fact, he had shown a strong belief in Hall before the trials.

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“I’ve been with my coach, and this is our tenth season together. I graduated high school in 2014, and that is when I immediately got with him – when I left school. He obviously has my best interest at heart, and I know he is going to have me ready and have me prepared,” Coleman had said.

Poll of the day

Do you think Christian Coleman's decision to ditch his long-time coach will pay off?

Yes, it's a smart move

No, it's a risky gamble

Only time will tell

He should have stayed loyal

In June 2023, when Hall moved as the coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks, Coleman also followed him. “I started this journey with him. So we’re gonna finish it out together for sure,” the 2024 60m World indoor champion had said. However, the results on the tracks have not spoken greatly about the partnership in recent times.

Christian Coleman’s dreams of racing the 100m and 200m at the Paris Olympics were crushed at the US Olympic trials, even though he ran the fastest times in the qualifying rounds. In the final, Coleman had his usual great start. He was ahead of the pack for most of the race. But he fumbled in the last 10m only to manage a fourth-place finish with a time of 9.92s.

To add to it, if we look at the records, it says that Coleman hasn’t improved his times since 2019 in the 100-meter. Now he has the obligation to use his last chance to earn an Olympic gold since Coleman was added to the 4x100m relay squad lately. He might have found an answer to all these in Dennis Mitchell and for good reasons. Turn your eyes to this year’s Olympic trials.

Three women who qualified in the 100m event for Paris- Sha’Carri Richardson (10.71 WL), Melissa Jefferson (10.80 PB), and Twanisha Terry (10.89 SB) are all trained by Mitchell. Also, spare a thought for Tokyo Olympics 200m silver medalist, Kenny Bednarek. He also qualified for Paris in 100m, securing a second-place finish with 9.87s (PB) behind Noah Lyles. Kenny repeated the feat in 200m as well, with a personal best of 19.69s. While All these are surely testament to Mitchell’s coaching abilities, there have been some grey areas as well.

Dennis Mitchell has a disturbing background in doping controversies. In 1998, he was found positive for testosterone, which resulted in a ban for two years. As his defense back then, he offered a much-condemned excuse of having “five bottles of beer and s*x with his wife at least four times.” Eventually, during the BALCO investigation, he accepted receiving Human Growth Hormone injections from his coach, Trevor Graham. Mitchell also had to face heat from Justin Gatlin, one of his trainees, for one more doping-related incident in 2017.

Gatlin, 2004 Olympic 100m gold medalist, fired his then-coach Mitchell after the latter was recorded allegedly offering to supply performance-enhancing drugs to undercover reporters. The revelation came out of an investigation by a UK-based news outlet. Looking at Mitchell’s associations with the doping scandals, Sha’Carri Richardson’s choosing to train with him after she turned pro in 2019 had raised concern. However, Sha’Carri expressed her full confidence in Mitchell.

“Y’all don’t have to worry about any doping situations coming from me. I back him 1,000 per cent,” Sha’Carri had said in 2021. Ironically, in the same year, she lost the chance to compete in the Olympics because of her marijuana use. While Mitchell is not known to have anything to do with that, Sha’Carri has not left him. And the association has created magic over the years, seeing her becoming the 2023 world champion bouncing back. It seems this very journey has caught the attention of Christian Coleman. Here we deviate a bit from the sport.

In light of this new update, don’t you want to know how the whirlwind rumored romance between the track stars Coleman and Sha’Carri Richardson first sparked?

Sha’Carri Richardson and Christian Coleman: A ‘World’wind Track Love Story

During the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, rumors started swirling about Sha’Carri Richardson and Christian Coleman dating after Track Spice posted on Facebook, “Sha’carri Richardson and Christian Coleman SPOTTED getting awfully cozy and together everywhere in Budapest!!” 

The buzz picked up when a fan caught them together at a McDonald’s, sparking speculation that spread like wildfire. Then, during the 4×100-meter relay at the World Athletics Championships, Coleman couldn’t contain his excitement when Richardson won, rushing over to lift her in celebration. That continued until recently.

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Christian Coleman doesn’t hold back when it comes to praising Sha’Carri. On her birthday, he posted a heartfelt message, calling her a ‘legend’ and writing, “Happy birthday to the legend, the flyest and the coolest Kobe Year!” Richardson returned the favor, wishing Coleman, “Happy Birthday to a legend, a true icon.” Richardson’s support for Coleman at the 2024 Millrose Games only added more excitement to the rumors. Then came a heartfelt acknowledgment from Coleman, whose words about her melted hearts.

via Getty

This year, at a Wanda Diamond League press conference, Coleman was asked about Sha’Carri Richardson’s popularity. With a smile, he said, “She’s a person. I think somebody who’s at the forefront at women empowerment. Women’s sports is like taking it to a whole different level.”

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Further, he praised Sha’Carri, noting that many admire her not just because she’s a beast in the sport, but also because of her special talent and potential to elevate sports to new heights. He shared his excitement, expressing, “I’m a fan too; I’m excited to watch; she’s an inspiration, and I’m inspired by her too.”

With the Paris Olympics on the horizon and a love story unfolding on the tracks, all eyes will be on Coleman to see if training alongside Richardson—and perhaps a new coaching approach—can propel him back to the top. What are your thoughts on this big career move? Share in the comments below!