Ghana’s sprint king, Benjamin Azamati, made a strong statement in the WANDA Diamond League with a winning performance in Paris on Saturday.
The 24-year-old student of the West Texas A&M University completed the men’s 100m race in a time of 10.25 seconds at the Stade Charlety. His victory -- the first ever in track and field’s leading competition -- came just a few days after finishing fourth in the Oslo Diamond League meeting where he clocked a lower time of 10.15 seconds.
Azamati had a good start as he took the lead right from the start of the gun and outsprinted his competitors by the 60 metres mark to cross the finish line for the gold medal.
The elated sprinter explained that he learnt lessons from the setbacks at the Oslo Meet and decided to remain calm and relax through the race and that help him win gold.
“It feels good, I like the athlete I’m growing into. Oslo obviously taught me a big lesson so coming into this meeting, I had a couple of looks down to go through to win my race.
“I needed to stay relaxed as possible, just go through the heat and you could see from my start that I almost stumbled but I remained patient and I was able to go through the race relaxed and I was able to win gold,” he stated.
Benajmin Azamati (left) sprinting to victory in the men's 100 metres in Paris
His compatriot, Sean Sarfo Antwi, finished sixth with a time of 10.45 seconds.
Even though the time was encouraging, it wasn’t his best time having previously run his personal best time of 9.90 seconds in Texas, USA become the joint 4th fastest collegiate of all-time with Trayvon Bromell.
He currently holds the record as Ghana’s fastest sprinter after he made history by breaking the 22-year-old record that was previously held by Leo Myles Mills when he clocked 9.97 seconds to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in March last year.
Just days ago, the sprinter signed a lucrative two- and half-year sponsorship and an endorsement deal with ASICS Global, a multinational corporation specialising in sportswear and footwear.
Azamati’s performance puts him in a good shape as the Diamond League meetings form part of preparations for the sprinter for the upcoming World Athletics Championship and Commonwealth Games.
It is not the first time the Ghanaian has mounted the podium for international competition, having grabbed gold medal in the 4X100m relay at the 2019 Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco.