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Tokyo Olympic Games

Joseph Fahnbulleh Makes History By Reaching Men’s 200m Final

Joseph Fahnbulleh has qualified for the final of the men’s 200m in the Tokyo 2020 Games, making him Liberia’s first-ever Olympic finalist.

Fahnbulleh, 19, qualified for the final byfinishing second in the third semifinal behind Canada’s Aaron Brown. Both Fahnbulleh and Brown jointly clocked 19.99 seconds, but Brown has the advantage based on his reaction time (0.151). Fahnbulleh had a reaction time of 0.140.

Recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1955, Liberia has never had a finalist in any event at the Olympics. The West African nation has sent athletes to every Summer Olympic Games held since 1956 with the exception of 1968, 1976, 1980 and 1992.

Fahnbulleh’s performance on Tuesday did not only make history of becoming Liberia’s first-ever Olympics finalist, but also equaled his personal best, national record in the men’s 200m outdoor event; breaking AkeemSirleaf’s 200m record (20.37) at the 2019 MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States, and sealed his qualification to the 2022 World Athletics Championship.

Earlier on Tuesday, the 19-year-old became the second Liberian sprinter to qualify for the men’s 200m semi-final by finishing second in heat five in 20.46 seconds.

It has been a historic moment for the 2021 NCAA Outdoor National Champion who is making his first run at the Olympics.

Fahnbulleh qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after meeting the Qualifying Time in the 200 (20.24 seconds) in his first outdoor meet of the season before going on to win the NCAA Outdoor national title in June with winning time of 19.91 seconds –a career-best performance and 10th-fastest in his college’s history.

He will be the only African competing in the men’s 200m final on Wednesday.

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