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, March 21, 2021.
The West Texas A&M freshman also became the first NCAA DII 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-Legon 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 NCAA DII Indoor Athlete of the Year.
Significantly, Azamati has booked 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.
Azamati at West Texas A&M
Benjamin Azamati transferred from the University of Ghana to West Texas A&M University in the US in January 2020. Three weeks after leaving Ghana, he had his first career race, which was also his first-ever indoor season for West Texas A&M, and broke the school’s 60-metre dash record. He made a time of 6.69 seconds and is tied for the fastest time in the country.
Also in February 2021, he set records in both the 60m and the 200m at the Lone Star Conference Championships (LSC) to lead the West Texas A&M athletics team to their third LSC Championship title at Lubbock, Texas.
Azamati was adjudged Student-Athlete of the Year and Freshman of the Year at West Texas A&M University’s 2020 Bucky Awards in May 2020.
Watch the race below:
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