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Gators In Olympic Video games: Joseph Fahnbulleh

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As he stood ready for his flip in entrance of the digital camera final week, Joseph Fahnbulleh had a Liberian flag draped throughout his shoulders.

Fahnballeh was at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with different members of the UF observe contingent headed to the Tokyo Video games for a photograph shoot. It was one other second throughout Fahnbulleh’s summer season that he will not neglect.

“First time going abroad, too,” he mentioned. “That is going to be actually cool. And I’ve all the time needed to go to Japan. I just like the tradition over there, I just like the fashion.”

Fahnbulleh’s mother and father are from Liberia, a rustic on the West Coast of Africa. They immigrated to the Minneapolis space, the place Fahbulleh turned a observe standout at Hopkins Excessive College. Whereas he grew up in Minnesota, he’s competing for Liberia within the Olympics, one among 5 members of the nation’s Olympic observe workforce.

Fahnbulleh wonders how his life may be completely different if he hadn’t determined to take up Gators coach Mike Holloway‘s supply to return to Florida.

“I didn’t assume I’d be right here,” Fahnbulleh mentioned. “Coach Holloway mentioned ‘come right here and I will make you nice.’ And right here is the place I’m.”

At the moment ranked twentieth on this planet, Fahnbulleh will return to campus and courses within the fall. However for now, he’s getting ready for his first run within the Olympics.

And he’ll do it in fashion, as reported by the New York Instances, whereas carrying a Liberian flag.

Fahnbulleh, Joe and mother (July 2019)
Gators sprinter Joseph Fahnbulleh and his mom, Charlotte, after Fahnbulleh was named Nationwide Excessive College Coaches’ Affiliation boys athlete of the yr in 2019 at Hopkins (Minn.) Excessive. (Photograph: John Sherman/Courtesy of


Joseph Fahnbulleh
Joseph Fahnbulleh after successful the 200 nationwide championship. (Photograph: GatorVision)

SPORT: Observe & Subject

EVENT: Males’s 200-meter sprint

HOW HE QUALIFIED: Fahnbulleh met the Olympic Qualifying Time within the 200 (20.24 seconds) in his first outside meet of the season, however when he received the NCAA Out of doors nationwide title in June with successful time of 19.91 seconds –a career-best efficiency and Tenth-fastest in collegiate historical past — he gained pace and momentum heading into the Tokyo Video games.

TOKYO SCHEDULE: The qualifying spherical for the boys’s lengthy soar begins July 31 and the ultimate is Aug. 2 on the Olympic Stadium.

UF CAREER: He blossed as a third-year sophomore in 2021, ending third within the 200 on the NCAA Indoor Finals and second on the Southeastern Convention Indoor Championships. Throughout the outside season, Fahbulleh continued to enhance, peaking together with his efficiency on June 11 on the NCAA Finals. He got here from behind to edge Terrance Laird of LSU for the nationwide title together with his 19.91 narrowly off the varsity document held by John Capel (19.87), set on the 1999 NCAA Championships. Fahnbullen made his collegiate debut in January 2020.

NEED TO KNOW: The 19-year-old Fahnbulleh grew up in Minnesota and is taken into account the highest prep sprinter in that state’s historical past. He owns the state document within the 100- and 200-meter sprint.

QUOTE OF NOTE: “It means loads. That is my first time ever working for Liberia. I really feel like there’s a variety of stress, however I do know there’s lots of people supporting me, too. I simply need to go on the market and do my finest, run my coronary heart out each race, each spherical.”


Beforehand: “Gators In Olympic Video games” Sequence
June 26: Cory McGee  
June 27: Michelle Moultrie 
June 28: Natalie Hinds 
June 29: Adriana Leon
June 30: Enzo Martinez-Scarpe
July 1: Kieran Smith 
July 2: Genevieve LaCaze Gregson
July 3: Will Claye 
July 4: Mark Kolozsvary
July 5: Marife Torres 
July 6: Aubree Munro
July 7: Leanne Wong
July 8: Hakim Sani Brown
July 9: Deanne Rose
July 10: Yanis David
July 11: Marquis Dendy
July 12: Lloydricia Cameron
July 13: Bradley Beal 
July 14: Bobby Finke
July 15: Kelsey Stewart
July 16: Alfonso Mestre
July 17: Amro Al-Wir

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