With 46 days until the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships, Liberia has formed a men’s 4×100 relay team. The hope is to be one of the 16 qualified teams present in London from August 4-13, 2017.
There are two ways to qualify for Worlds: (1) Top 8 teams from the 2017 IAAF World Relays and; (2) Top 8 best ranked teams at the end of the qualification period which is July 23, 2017.
On June 17, 2017 in Stockbridge, GA, the newly formed relay team tested their chemistry. Leading was Wellington Zaza who handed the baton off to second leg, Paul Selman. Next up was Akeem Sirleaf who passed it on to the anchor, Olympian, Emmanuel Matadi.
For their first time running together at a trial meet, the four athletes ran the relay in 40.80 seconds. The top 5 spots have been filled since the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas leaving 11 ranking positions up for grabs. Liberia will need to run under 39 seconds to secure a spot for Worlds. With additional practice meets, they are confident they can reach that mark and represent Liberia in London come August.
All four athletes take great pride in the opportunity to represent their native land, Liberia. To those aspiring to represent Liberia, the message from Matadi is to, “Trust the process” while Zaza says to, “Stay persistent.”
The team will be running at more trial meets to build upon what they have created. The next meet will be on June 24th, 2017 in Alabama.
Follow the 4×100 Relay team on their social media: Wellington Zaza @ripqw; Paul Selman @pspeedy03; Akeem Sirleaf @keem_james_6; and Emmanuel Matadi @matadi.