Akeem Sirleaf: Second Liberian to Qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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With eleven months to the 2020 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, and commonly known as Tokyo 2020, another United States-based Liberian athlete, Akeem Sirleaf, 22, has sealed his Tokyo 2020 Olympic spot following a string of impressive and incredible performances, between March–June 2019 respectively, the Liberia Athletics Federation (LAF) has announced.

Among the at least 15 sporting disciplines in the country, track-and-field is so far the only sport in which Liberian athletes have qualified. The LAF president, Mulbah Zaza, has appealed to the Chief of Sports and President George Weah, for support to enable the athletes continue their individual practices as well as its delegation participation in Tokyo, Japan.

The local athletics boss is also appealing to businesses to support the “sprinters and the federation” to fully prepare and attend the upcoming international multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

Like 100 meters international sprinter Emmanuel Matadi, Zaza said Akeem Sirleaf’s works have also paid off.

On March  29, 2019, Akeem Sirleaf made an impressive run by setting a new record at 10.55 seconds in the 100 meters race in in Gainesville, Florida, USA; he also placed second in the 440 meters race and set a new Liberian 400 meters record at the MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championship. The championship took place May 2-4 in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. At the meet, he set a new 200 meter personal best, clocking in at 20.37 (+0.4 m/s).

In addition to improving his own record, Sirleaf now holds the national record. He is the fastest Liberian 200 meters sprinter and currently ranks 26th on IAAF world charts.

Although he is placed third at the collegiate event, his college team, North Carolina A&T took the first place overall.

It can be recalled that the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are around the corner and athletes everywhere are pushing themselves to qualify.

By that, US-based Liberian sprinter Emmanuel Matadi, has already met that goal. Matadi successfully ran 10.01 seconds in the 100 meters race at the Star Athletics Sprint Series on Saturday July 6. His time granted him a returning spot on Liberia’s Olympic Team. It also made him the first athlete to qualify for Liberia’s Tokyo 2020 squad.

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