By Daichi Nishiguchi / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterLONDON — Teenage sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown reached the men’s 200 meters final at the world championships in London on Wednesday.
Sani Brown clocked a time of 20.43 seconds to finish second in heat two, becoming the second Japanese sprinter to advance to the event’s final since Shingo Suetsugu won the bronze medal at the Paris championships in 2003.
Sani Brown will also become the youngest ever to appear in a 200 meters final at 18 years, 5 months, breaking 30-year-old Usain Bolt’s previous record of 18 years, 11 months.
Shota Iizuka failed to qualify after finishing fifth in heat one in 20.62.
Sani Brown’s time was the 10th best overall in the semifinals. He also had some luck with the draw, though results are all that count in competition.
“I was lucky,” Sani Brown said.
After completing two 100-meter heats, he competed in a qualifying race for the 200 meters two days ago. The day before the semifinals, Sani Brown felt fatigued and rested all day.
“I didn’t move much from bed, I mostly just ate and slept. I did some stretches and then slept again,” he said.
Unlike the qualifying race, Sani Brown accelerated quickly and battled for the top spot in the first 100 meters of his heat. He maintained his pace through the second half and finished second, outrunning 2012 London Games silver medalist Yohan Blake of Jamaica.
At the world championships in Beijing two years ago, Sani Brown, then 16, failed to qualify after clocking 20.47 in the semifinals. Wednesday’s result was only 0.04 seconds faster than that time. His most recent event, however, was held on a rainy day with a temperature of 15 C, while the Beijing race took place amid better conditions and a temperature of 24 C.
“I had a substantially better run,” he said.
In London, Sani Brown continued to overtake Bolt by setting the age record after breaking the Jamaican’s 200-meter mark set at the IAAF World Youth Championships in 2015.
Sani Brown maintains high spirits and is determined.