Sprinter Benjamin Azamati, broke Leo Myles-Mills’ long standing Ghana national record in the 100m and booked a place at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo with a smashing 9.97s (1.5m/s) run in Heat 8 of the Texas Relays on Friday afternoon.
The West Texas A&M freshman also became the first NCAADII athlete to dip under 10.00s, breaking Darell Green’s record (10.08s) set in 1983.
The time is also a World Lead (WL), the first man to go under10.00s in 2021.
The race was the former PRESEC and University of Ghana student’s first race of the outdoor season following an impressive indoor campaign in which he set records in the 60m dash at the Lone Star Championships and was named the NCAADII Indoor Athlete of the Year.
Significantly, the 23 year old’s Azamati has punched a ticket to this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, with the qualifying standards for the 100m pegged at 10.05s.
He becomes the 3rd Ghanaian athlete to book a ticket to Tokyo after 100m and 200m runner Joseph Paul Amoah and triple jump athlete Nadia Eke.
Myles-Mill’s 100m record, set in Boise in the 1999 NCAA Championships, is one of the longest standing records in Ghana athletics, although Aziz Zakari (9.99s) came close in 2005.
Azamati’s run is even more impressive considering he sliced a whopping 0.35s off his previous PB which stood at 10.32s (2019).
He ran a smashing 2nd leg in Ghana’s gold medal winning 4x100m relay race at the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco.
He is expected to link up with teammates Sean Safo-Antwi, Joseph Paul Amoah and Martin Owusu-Antwi for the World Relays in Poland in May as team Ghana attempt to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer.
Watch the race below:
Benjamin Azamati's record breaking run:
✅New NR 9.97s (breaks Leo Myles-Mills' 22-year old record of 9.98s)
✅World Lead time, first man to dip under 10.00s in 2021
✅First NCAADII athlete to run under 10.00s
✅Booked ticket to Tokyo Olympics
✅This kid is on fire! pic.twitter.com/0oVQ6a7fDw
— Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo (@Fentuo_) March 26, 2021