Ghanaian sprinter Benjamin Azamati says he is aiming to become one of the leading names in world sprinting in the next four to five years, adding that he dreams of winning a gold medal at the Olympics, just like every young and ambitious runner.
Azamati, a gold-winning athlete at the last African Games and a student of the University of Ghana says he had big dreams this year but the coronavirus pandemic has changed many of those plans. That notwithstanding, the young sprinter believes he has youth on his side to make up for lost time and opportunities.
“I am a professional runner and that is what I am working towards. In the next four to five years people will have to prepare to see me get to the top”.
Azamati was part of Ghana’s 4×100 relay team that won gold at the Africa Games in Morocco in 2019.
His impressive rise was recognized this year when he was awarded as the Exceptional Student-Athlete of the Year at the Ghana Sports Excellence Awards Night held in Accra earlier in the year.
The 22-year-old was hoping to ride his wave and help Ghana qualify for this years Olympic Games in Tokyo before the outbreak of the coronavirus altered everything.
He says the news of the postponement of 2020 Olympic Games was welcomed with disappointment in Ghana’s athletic camp.
Revealing the reaction of the team to this site, Azamati said the mood that greeted the announcement by the International Olympic Committee was that of dismay and despondency.
He said the team was looking forward to the sports festival and were bent on making the time to appear in Tokyo.
He mentioned fellow sprinter Joe Paul who has already qualified for the games as the one who was heavily hit by the announcement.
That notwithstanding, Azamati says they are hopeful that normalcy will return soon for the Games to be staged.
“It really got to them. Looking at Joe Paul, Sean Sarfo and the others. Joe Paul had already qualified for the Olympics and was ready for the Olympics and this had to come so it really got to him but he understands the situation and gives thanks to God. He took it in good fate. I was very disappointed because I was really looking forward to my first Olympic Games. I don’t know why this happened but maybe it happened for my good”, he said.
In March this year, the IOC and the Japanese government jointly announced a postponement of the Games.
“The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating,” IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers said in a joint statement.
“The Games … in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” it added