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Benjamin Azamati ditches collegiate athletics for pro career

BY: Kwame Larweh
Bejamin Azamati is enjoying an amazing year
Bejamin Azamati is enjoying an amazing year

National sprints sensation Benjamin Azamati has ditched US collegiate athletics to become a professional athlete after signing a lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deal with Japanese sportswear brand ASICS for two and a half years.

It marks a remarkable career turnaround for Ghana’s fastest man who has taken the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division II by storm with record performances for West Texas A&M University where he has been running for the last two years since joining from the University of Ghana.

The new deal with ASICS Running means Ghana’s men’s 100 metres record holder would no longer be eligible for an NCCA scholarship or sponsorship.

Last month he obliterated his own national 100 metres record with a new time of 9.90 seconds at a meet in Texas -- the fastest time in NCAA Division II history -- to become the joint fourth fastest collegiate athlete of all-time with American Trayvon Bromell.

Following his decision to turn pro, the 24-year-old native of Akim Oda has made two appearances in the world athletics circuit after finishing fourth in the men’s 100 metres of the Oslo Diamond League (Bislett Games). He clocked 10.15 seconds in fourth position behind Canadian Andre De Grasse (10.05 sec), Briton Reece Prescod (10.06 sec) and Akani Simbine of South Africa (10.09 Sec). Four days later he won his first professional race at the Stade Charlety in Paris, winning the 100m in a time of 10.25 seconds.

Benjamin Azamati focused

Focused: Benjamin Azamati enjoyed to successful years winning personal and team laurels forfor West Texas A&M University

Azamati’s performance puts him in a good shape for the WANDA Diamond League season as he warms up for the upcoming World Athletics Championship in Oregon and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Last week, Azamati was named as the Lone Star Conference Athlete of the Year by the West Texas A&M University for the second consecutive year and fourth time in the annals of the school’s history.

Prior to this feat, he was named the 2021 NCAA Division II Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Track Athlete of the Year.

He is also the second male student-athlete in 21 years to win the award in consecutive seasons since Texas A&M-Kingsville's Roberto Garza in 2001.