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Abdul-Rasheed Saminu books Paris 2024 spot

University of South Florida athlete Abdul-Rasheed Saminu secures Olympic qualification with thrilling third-place finish at NCAA Championships

Ghanaian sprinter Abdul-Rasheed Saminu has secured his place at the 2024 Paris Olympics in dramatic fashion.

The 22-year-old, representing the University of South Florida (USF), defied the odds at the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I Outdoor Championships in Oregon, USA, to qualify for the men’s 200m event.

Saminu’s journey began in the preliminaries, where he clocked a time of 20.30 seconds, missing the Olympic qualifying standard of 20.16 seconds.

However, it was enough to secure him second place in his heat and a spot in the finals.

The finals proved to be Saminu’s moment to shine. In a thrilling race, he stormed to a time of 20.12 seconds, exceeding the Olympic qualifying standard by 0.04 seconds.

This dramatic performance booked his ticket to Paris, although it wasn’t enough to claim the NCAA national title.

Saminu finished third behind Côte d’Ivoire’s Cheickna Traore (19.95 seconds) and American Robert Gregory (20.08 seconds).

Despite falling short of the championship title, Saminu made history for USF.

He became the first-ever Bull to achieve First Team All-American status in two events at the same NCAA Championships. Additionally, he set a new programme record in the men’s 200m.

Saminu’s Olympic qualification adds to Ghana’s growing track and field contingent for Paris 2024.

He joins high jumper Rose Yeboah and the men’s 4x100m relay team, who have already secured their spots in their respective events.

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