Courtesy of Kirby Lee @ USA Today Sports
We know how fast Joseph Fahnbulleh is, but the whole world found out how fast he was at NCAA Nationals, and he will have another chance for some hardware this year in Tokyo where he is representing Liberia.
Already this year, Fahnbulleh has won the NCAA Outdoor Title in the 200m with a time of 19.91 and finished third in the 200m at NCAA Indoor Nationals. His time of 19.91 in the 200m is the 8th best time in the world this year, and he is one of only nine guys under 20 seconds this season.
See also: Meet Your Minnesota Track and Field Olympians | Joseph Fahnbulleh, Among the Best Sprinters in the World | An Interview with Hopkins Alumni Joseph Fahnbulleh
Of the nine guys who have run sub 20 seconds in the 200m this year, only six of them have qualified for Tokyo. Those guys are Noah Lyles, Kenneth Bednarek, Erriyon Knighton, Andre De Grasse, Divine Oduduru, and Fahnbulleh.
|1||19.74||+0.3||Noah LYLES||18 JUL 1997||USA||1||Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA)||27 JUN 2021||1261|
|2||19.78||+0.3||Kenneth BEDNAREK||14 OCT 1998||USA||2||Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA)||27 JUN 2021||1255|
|3||19.81||+0.8||Terrance LAIRD||12 OCT 1998||USA||1||Mike A. Myers Stadium, Austin, TX (USA)||27 MAR 2021||1250|
|4||19.84||+0.3||Erriyon KNIGHTON||29 JAN 2004||USA||3||Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA)||27 JUN 2021||1245|
|5||19.88||+1.6||Divine ODUDURU||07 OCT 1996||NGR||1f1||Jax Track at Hodges Stadium, Jacksonville, FL (USA)||29 APR 2021||1239|
|6||19.89||+0.4||André DE GRASSE||10 NOV 1994||CAN||2||Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium, Doha (QAT)||28 MAY 2021||1237|
|6||19.89||+1.8||Alex WILSON||19 SEP 1990||SUI||1f1||Marietta, GA (USA)||18 JUL 2021||1237|
|8||19.90||+0.3||Fred KERLEY||07 MAY 1995||USA||4||Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA)||27 JUN 2021||1236|
|9||19.91||-0.4||Joseph FAHNBULLEH||11 SEP 2001||LBR||1||Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA)||11 JUN 2021||1236|
|10||19.99||+0.9||Isiah YOUNG||05 JAN 1990||USA||2sf1||Hayward Field, Eugene, OR (USA)||26 JUN 2021||1222|
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, to qualify for the 200m finals, you had to run about 20.09/20.10. This outdoor season Fahnbulleh has equaled or run faster than that four times. As seen above his PR of 19.91 is the 9th fastest in the world this season. So there is a good chance of Fahnbulleh qualifying for the 200m finals for Liberia.
No athlete from Liberia has ever finished in the top eight in their event at the Olympics, let alone won a medal. The country's best result to date was Jangy Addy's 19th-place finish in the decathlon in 2008.
Could Fahnbulleh be the first and make history for Liberia?