Day one of the 2022 World Athletics Championships has ended and Liberia is off to a great start.
Emmanuel Matadi, the current men’s 100m national record holder, ran a solid race at the championship in Eugene, Oregon, USA. Despite getting off to a slow start, Matadi managed to pull through and finish third in his heat. This gave him an automatic spot in Saturday’s semi-finals.
Matadi ran 9.99, which placed him among the top seven semi-finalists. He ran in heat 2, the fastest heat of the evening, with USA’s Fred Kerley taking first place in 9.79 seconds. With Matadi’s current time, Team Liberia head coach Sayon Cooper believes that “Liberia’s fastest man” will advance past the semi-finals, but spectators will have to wait and see.
“Tomorrow, we just got to make sure Matadi cleans up his start and there’s a possibility Matadi could even go 9.8 seconds,” Cooper told Go Team Liberia during his post-race recap called The Rundown.
In a separate post-race interview, Matadi shared his excitement about his performance.
“I think this year’s for Africa,” Matadi told Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo of Citi TV Ghana. “I think we have a good chance of getting a medal. There’s so many of us running really fast so I think it’s gonna be good for the continent.”
A message to all the Liberian people – this year is for Africa!!! pic.twitter.com/yFTMGz49ot
— Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo (@Fentuo_) July 16, 2022
What to look forward to on Saturday
Before Matadi returns to the track, Liberia’s fastest male hurdler, Wellington Zaza will start day two for Liberia. Liberians can look forward to watching Zaza race in the 110mH round one, on Saturday July, 16 at 11:53 a.m. P.T. or 6:53 p.m. Liberian Time.
Zaza is currently ranked top 6 in Africa. He will run in heat 5, lane 2.
Matadi will run in the men’s 100m semi-finals. The event will start at 6 p.m. Pacific Time, which is 1 a.m. Liberian Time. He will run in heat 1, lane 8.