Liberia’s Joseph Fahnbulleh Puts Liberia On Olympic Map Finishes 5th in 200M
Monrovia – Nineteen-year-old Liberia track star Joseph Fahnbulleh has put Liberia on the map of Olympics after finishing 5th place in the men’s 200 meter final of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics games in track and field on Wednesday.
The young Liberian sprinter who graduated in 2019 from Hopkins High School in Minnesota has become the first Liberian to reach such fate.
Running in lane eight, Fahnbulleh was the second-youngest in the race for gold and he finished the 200 meters in 19.98 seconds, just 0.38 seconds behind the gold medal winning Andre de Grasse, of Canada.
He made it to the finals after jointly clocking in first place with two other athletes with 19.99 seconds.
Fahnbulleh represented Liberia in the final along two Americans, Kenny Bednerack and Noah Lyles, took second and third, respectively.
He sprinted his way into the Olympics men’s 200 meters with an impressive semifinal performance on Tuesday, but failed to get media attention Wednesday.
Nevertheless, the 19-year-old Wednesday’s run placed smiles on the faces of Liberians because he is the first and only Liberian to ever reach finals in Olympics.
However, Fahnbulleh automatically qualified for the World Athletics Championship in the U.S., when he finished with a time of 19.99 seconds in the semifinals.
Fahnbulleh’s time in the Olympics final was 0.01 better than his personal record at the University of Florida. His top time while in high school at Hopkins was 20.69 seconds.
He won the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships gold in the 200m and bronze in the 100m while in high school.
He won the MSHSL State Track and Field title in the 200m in 2018 and 2019, also finishing fourth in the 2019 state triple jump. He owns the state record in the 200m.
Fahnbulleh was named the 2019 National High School Coaches Association National Senior Boys’ Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Liberia’s two athletes, Ebony Morrison and Emmanuel Matadi sprinted out in the semi-finals and preliminary, respectively.
Ebony bowed out in the semis but gained a new personal record of her best time (12.7 seconds in the Women 100m hurdle).
The 26-year-old’s best time also automatically qualified her for the World Athletics Championship.
Emmanuel Matadi ruled-out because of injury. The 30 years old dropped in the preliminary semifinal.