Former Jamaican sprinter, Asafa Powell, has hinted at his excitement with Ghanaian track and field athlete, Benjamin Azamati, describing him as ‘very talented’.
Azamati broke onto the international scene with his national record-breaking run – clocking 9.97s in 2021 to push behind Leo Myles Mills’ 9.98 seconds – a time which stood for 22 years.
A year later, Azamati improved his own time of 9.97 seconds with a 9.90 seconds run at the Texas Relays – a week after entering the top five times over 100m in NCAA Division II history.
“I don’t know Azamati personally, but I know of him,” Powell said. “He’s very talented and you see for yourself. I’m sure he was running when he was in Ghana, but he wasn’t getting to that level and then he left to the USA, and all of a sudden, he’s running fast. So you can imagine [what will happen] if you had the same coaching and attitude here in Ghana, you will be making lots of stars”
Azamati, after becoming the fastest University athlete in Ghana – twice, and then, Africa, before breaking a two decades long record, was a thing of continuous national dazzle for about four to five years.
However, there have been a few underwhelming moments for the 25-year-old athlete, who is still yet to pick an individual medal at either the Olympics, World Athletics Championships or Commonwealth Games.
He scratched the surface of a medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where he finished 4th in the final – two-hundredths of a second slower than Yupun Abeykoon. However, Powell is confident the ASICS athlete will not have to wait any longer.
“Definitely,” was Powell’s simple response when quizzed about if Azamati was close to winning a medal before adding: “Once you’re running sub 10, you are ready to win a medal.”
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