Abdul Hakim Sani Brown became the second sprinter from Japan to join the sub-10 second club May 11 when he clocked 9.99 seconds in the men’s 100 meters at the U.S. Southeastern Conference collegiate athletics championships.
On the final day of the three-day meet at the University of Arkansas, the 20-year-old from the University of Florida shaved 0.06 second off his personal best and met the qualification standard for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Yoshihide Kiryu is the only other Japanese to break the 10-second barrier, having set a national record of 9.98 seconds in September 2017 by taking 0.02 second off the previous mark set by Koji Ito in 1998.
“I knew I would reach (a sub-10 second time) sooner or later, so it wasn’t the first thing on my mind,” Sani Brown said. “I was focused on delivering an all-out effort, carrying over everything I’ve learned from practice to the race, and just doing what I have to do.”
Born to a Ghanaian father and Japanese mother, Sani Brown attended Josai High School in Tokyo before he enrolled at the University of Florida in the fall of 2017.
Earlier on May 11 in Yokohama, the Japanese team of Kiryu, Yuki Koike, Ryota Yamagata and Shuhei Tada was disqualified for messing up the final baton handoff in the men’s 4×100 heats at the IAAF World Relays.
The May 11-12 event at Nissan Stadium was a qualification stage for the World Athletics Championships planned for Doha, Qatar, from Sept. 27 to Oct. 6. (Kyodo)