2022 World Championship: Matadi Misses Out on 100m Final

With the hope of advancing to his first-ever world championships final, the 31-year-old national record holder missed out.

Completing two races in 9 seconds in less than a month was quite impressive for Liberia’s fastest runner Emmanuel Matadi. 

Matadi had the belief that this was Africa’s time to hit the podium in the men’s 100m at the World Athletics Outdoor Champions currently ongoing in Oregon, USA. No African athlete has won a medal in the men’s 100m at the world championships.

However, things didn't go as planned. Matadi had a great start at the championships after advancing to his third consecutive semifinals by finishing 3rd in heat 2, recording the seventh-fastest time overall of 9.99 secs, 0.01 sec less than his personal best.

He was the second best performing African sprinter out of 14 competitors. The result was Matadi’s fastest heat time ever recorded in the World Championship.

“I think this year is for Africa. I think we have a good chance of getting a medal. There are so many of us running really fast, so I think it’s gonna be good for the continent,” Matadi told Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo of Citi TV Ghana.

Even Coach Sayon Cooper was optimistic. “Tomorrow (Sunday), we just got to make sure Matadi cleans up his start and there’s a possibility Matadi could even go 9.8 seconds,” GoTeamLiberia quotes Coach Cooper.

With the hope of advancing to his first-ever world championships final, the 31-year-old national record holder missed out. He clocked 10.12 seconds in the semifinals, finishing fifth in his heat and 10th overall in the semifinals.

Despite Matadi missing out on the final, his personal best at the event placed him in the overall 9th position and 3rd in Africa. The men’s 100m was swept by team USA with Fred Kerley running 9.86 to win the championship title ahead of Marvin Bracy (9.88) and  Trayvon Bromell (9.88).

Meanwhile, it was not a good debut for Matadi’s compatriot Wellington Zaza in the men’s 110m Hurdles. According to GoTeam Liberia, Zaza ran in heat 5, lane 2, and seemed to get off to a quick start with the third fastest reaction time. “However, he clipped several hurdles as he ran to the finish line.”

Zaza finished the race in sixth place and ran 13.81, missing out on the semifinals. Liberia now has two more athletes preparing for the championship. Liberia’s men’s 200m record holder, Joseph Fahnbulleh will compete in round one at the World Championships on Monday, July 18. The event starts at 5:05 p.m. PT or 12:05 a.m. in Liberia.

Lone female representative Ebony Morrison will hit the track to compete in the women’s 100mH on July 23 at 11:20 a.m. PT or 6:20 p.m. GMT.