Talk about crunching numbers! Eugene Amo-Dadzie, an accountant from Britain, stunned the world after finishing a 100-meter race in Graz, Austria last week with a time of 9.93 seconds.
Last week’s finish means that Amo-Dadzie is now the fastest man in Europe by a decent margin this season. It also placed him in the British record books, and he’s the fourth fastest Brit of all time. This time also means he’s currently ranked jointly as the 13th fastest man in the world this year.
It’s even more remarkable when you consider the fact that he’s a “relatively new sprinter—Amo-Dadzie started sprinting ‘seriously’ only four years ago,” reports Runners World.
Why did it take this long for Amo-Dadzie to take the sport seriously? He’s always been fast: he left secondary school, “the British equivalent to middle and high school,” with a personal record of 11.3 seconds without training or being part of a local club. He considered taking up athletics at the University of Nottingham, but got derailed by “the distractions of student life. ‘Let’s just say track and field quickly fell down my list of priorities,’” said Amo-Dadzie, with a chuckle.
That all changed in the summer of 2018, after Amo-Dadzie and a friend happened to come “across a local track meet after playing football in east London.” They stopped to watch the 100m race, and “his friend turned to Amo-Dadzie and bluntly said: ‘You could put a pair of spikes on and beat these guys. Why haven’t you tried this properly before?’”
This was the push Amo-Dadzie needed, and he decided to go after his pipe dream. Amo-Dadzie joined Woodford Green Athletics Club, and within a year of formal training was a competitor at the British Championships semifinals. In his debut season, he ran a 10.55, then at 10.20 in 2021, and 10.05 the following year.”
Now “[a]t 30, Amo-Dadzie is the oldest new kid on the block British sprinting has ever seen,” writes BBC. “Not bad for a full-time accountant with no sponsors or funding.”
Is Amo-Dadzie going to quit his day job anytime soon? After his finish at Graz, it seems somewhat inevitable, but this week, it’s been “back to life, back to reality” for Amo-Dadzie. He’s “back fitting training sessions around work as a senior management accountant for a property company.”
Amo-Dadzie is proud of his nontraditional route, “I very much enjoy that I have a different story. I still refer to myself as an accountant that happens to operate in the world of track and field.”
Speaking on last week’s impressive 9.93 run, Amo-Dadzie said, “I got a really good reaction, a really good start and then it was like ‘Do not let your foot off the gas…I got into my upright running and I literally felt like I was flying.’”
“I leaned towards the line, looked over, saw the time began with a nine and went crazy. I just went mad. God willing, I will run that many more times, but you only get the first one once. It was one of the best days of my life,” continued Amo-Dadzie.
But if Amo-Dadzie keeps these impressive numbers up, he might have to change his moniker to “a sprinter who happens to be an accountant.”