Jeremiah Azu runs record in 100m at the European Athletics U23 Championships

ESPOO, Finland (July 13) — Jeremiah Azu sounded the strongest warning that he’s ready to do something special again at the European U23 Athletics Championships after a high-octane semi-final performance in the men’s 100m event to advance to the final with the fastest time from the round. He broke Christian Malcolm’s 22-year Welsh sprint record at the weekend and lowered his own mark again today with another super run.

Jeremiah Azu Breaks European U23 Athletics Championships Record

Jeremiah Azu of Britain, the reigning European U23 champion, and 2022 European bronze medalist, distinguished himself as the leading qualifier, clocking an impressive 10.04 seconds, a new championship and Welsh record. His time today broke Simeon Williamson’s championship record of 10.10 secs, set in Debrecen, Hungary, in 2007.

“You know what time it is, baby,” Azu, who ran 10.08 secs last weekend, said after his semifinal today, hinting at his readiness for the final on Friday.

“The race went well. A tad sluggish, perhaps, but my top end was really solid,” he added. “There’s definitely room for improvement. My coach advised me to nail my start. Not sure if he’ll be pleased, but we’ll see. The next goal is to excel in the final. I’m eager to clinch the gold.”

Read more: Zharnel Hughes, Dina Asher-Smith win British Athletics Championships 100m titles in wet conditions

Raphael Bouju Runs Fast Too – But Wind-Aided

Hot on Azu’s heels was Raphael Bouju of the Netherlands, who triumphed in the second semi-final heat with a time of 10.01 seconds.

However, Bouju’s time, while swift, was wind-aided (+2.5), exceeding the allowable limit of +2.0 for record consideration. Pablo Mateo of France followed closely, recording a time of 10.10 seconds.

Also making progress from the semifinal heats were, Andrii Vasylie of Ukraine, Robin Ganter of Germany, Nsikak Ekpo of the Netherlands, and Guillem Crespi of Spain, who secured their berths in the final, clocking times of 10.24, 10.25, 10.28 (PB), and 10.28 (PB) seconds, respectively.

The swiftest times outside the top three in each heat were posted by Israel Olatunde of Ireland (10.32 seconds, SB) and Junior Tardioli of Italy (10.34 seconds). These athletes advanced to the final as the next two speediest runners.

The men’s 100m final at the 2023 European U23 Athletics Championships on Friday, is shaping up to be a thrilling contest, with the leading qualifiers all within a hair’s breadth of each other.

The athletes will be vying to shatter the European U23 record of 9.92 seconds, set by France’s Christophe Lemaitre in 2011, but will this be too far out of their reach?

The European U23 Athletics Championships in Espoo, Finland, is held from July 12-16, 2023, and there is live streaming coverage on All-Athletics.

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