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Black Stars: Top 9 Short Race Runners in Africa

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Africa has made its mark in the world of athletics, particularly in long-distance races. That said, it has also made a lot of strides when it comes to short-distance races. Several notable runners from the continent compete at the most prestigious events. We have all the details about these black stars who make the continent proud.

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1. Tobi Amusan

The Nigerian is a 100m hurdles specialist. She’s the Commonwealth champion in the event after winning gold in the Birmingham games in 2022 at a time of 12.30, a games record. In the same year, Tobi Amusan also set the world record. 

Tobi Amusan completed the distance in 12.06 in the World Championships at Oregon and is the first Nigerian to hold a world record and championship at the same time. The sprinter also holds a gold medal in the Diamond League.

2.  Marie-Josée Ta Lou 

It’s crazy to think that Marie-Josée Ta Lou was ready to walk away from the sport after yet another Olympic Games without a medal. 

The sprinter has competed at the top level for more than a decade, ever since she burst out on the scene as a high school student. The Ivorian competes in the 60m, 100m, 150m and 200m. 

She won the African Championships in the 100m and 200m in Asaba, Nigeria 2018, and the 100m in the African Games 2019 in Rabat, Morocco.

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3. Ferdinand Omanyala

Dubbed the fastest man in Africa, Ferdinand Omanyala, the 100m king stormed to a 9.77 finish at the ABSA Kip Keino Classics in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2019 to break the African record. In 2021, Omanyala got the national record in the 100m race during the Tokyo Olympic Games after running at a time of 10.00. 

In 2022, the sprinter won gold at the Birmingham Games in the 100m. This made him the first Kenyan to win gold in this particular distance. He’s already having a fantastic season. 

He won the Monaco Diamond League 100m race in 9.92 seconds. Omanyala is the first Kenyan to win this event. These results give him confidence ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

4. Favour Oflili

Ofili participates in a couple of events – 60m, 100m, 200m, 4x400m and 4x100m. Although she’s relatively new in the sport, she’s already a potential black star. Her record is fairly good. 

In 2018, she won the 400m at the Africa Youth Games and won. She also won the 200m and 400m records at the Africa U18 Championships, setting a championship record in both races. 

In 2019, the Nigerian clinched the gold medal in the 4x400m relay at the African Games. In 2021, Ofili was a winner in the World U20 Championship in the same event. 

In 2022, Flavour Ofili clinched the gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the Commonwealth Games. The team set a world record of 42.10.

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5. Letsile Tebogo

Letsile shot into the limelight after his historic win at the 2021 World Championships in Nairobi, Kenya. He became the first Motswana to clinch gold at the 100m in a world event.  

In the same event, he won a silver medal in the 200m race. His next gold medals came in the 2022 African Championships 200m and the World U20 Championships in Colombia. He’s definitely a future black star, and his credentials project that.

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6. Luxolo Adams

The South African has shown great promise despite being slowed down by injuries. He competes in the 200m and 400m events. His personal best in the former is 19.82, achieved in 2022 to win the Diamond League, and the latter 46.37 set in 2015. 

In other races, Luxolo clinched a silver medal in Athletics World Cup in 2018 and a bronze medal in African Championships in Asaba, Nigeria.

7. Muzala Samukonga

The new kid on the block has already gotten some impressive victories. He won a gold medal in the 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and in the World Championships in Mauritius. If he keeps up with the pace, he’ll undoubtedly be one of the biggest, if not the biggest black star from Africa.

8. Aminatou Seyni

Yet to win a major event, Aminatou Seyni has demonstrated why her competitors should be worried about her. In 2022, she set two national records: One in the 100m in Mauritius, where she clocked 11.07. The other came in the 200m, where she finished the race in 200m.

9. Akani Simbine

Akani’s been fairly successful in his events, the 100m and 200m. He’s won gold in the African Championships, the Commonwealth Games, and the World Relays.

Three of his five gold medals in the major events came in the 4X100m relay and the rest in the 100m. The South African’s personal best in the 100m is 9.84, an athletics record. In the 200m, his personal best is 15.08.

It’s amazing to see how far Africa’s come when it comes to short-distance races. More and more young athletes are either paving the way or following in the footsteps of their predecessors. Regardless, it’s a step in the right direction. 

If you are interested in learning more about running, these books on Amazon will give you insight into that.  

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Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi
Agnes Amondi is a sports enthusiast who enjoys sharing sports knowledge. Over the years, she has also written on different niches, and she now brings that experience at Spotcovery. She writes sports content and also, Arts & Culture, Recipe, Beauty and more.


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