History-making Sani Brown finishes 7th in 100 at worlds

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Hakim Sani Brown runs to seventh place in the men’s 100-meter final at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday. Just getting that far earned him a place in Japanese sports history.

Hours after becoming the first Japanese in history to make the final of the men’s 100 meters at a World Athletics Championships, Hakim Sani Brown finished seventh on Saturday in Eugene, Ore.

Sani Brown clocked 10.06 in the final at Hayward Field to finish out of the medals, which were swept by an American trio led by Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Fred Kerley.

“I was in good condition, but I may have used up too much energy in the semifinal,” said Sani Brown, who was appearing in his fourth world championships, in a TV interview.

In the semifinals, run about 2 hours before the final, Sani Brown placed third in his heat in 10.05 to advance as one of two qualifiers based on time.

That made the 23-year-old the first Japanese to make a global final in the 100 since Takayoshi Yoshioka placed sixth at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

“I was less nervous for the final than I was in the semifinal,” Sani Brown said. “There is [a championships] next year, so using this experience, I want to get revenge and get a medal. I want to break up the American 1-2-3.”

The World Athletics Championships are held every two years, but because of the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, the Eugene meet scheduled for 2021 was pushed back to this year. Next year’s championships will be held in Budapest.

In Saturday’s final, Kerley won in 9.86 as just .02 separated the top three. Marvin Bracy was second in 9.88, the same time given to third-place finisher Trayvon Bromell.

Sani Brown, born to a Ghanaian father and Japanese mother, burst onto the world scene when he completed the 100-200 sprint double at the World Youth Championships in Colombia.

Sani Brown is one of only a handful of Japanese who have run under 10 seconds. He has a personal best in the 100 of 9.97, which he ran in finishing third at the 2019 NCAA Championships while at the University of Florida.

He was a member of the 4×100 relay team that won a bronze medal at the last world championships in Doha in 2019.