Abdul Hakim Sani Brown became the second sprinter from Japan to join the sub-10 second club Saturday when he clocked 9.99 seconds in the men's 100 meters at the Southeastern Conference U.S. collegiate athletics championships.
On the final day of the three-day meet at the University of Arkansas, the 20-year-old student-athlete from the University of Florida shaved 0.06 second off his personal best to win the final and meet the qualification standard for next year's Tokyo Olympics.
Yoshihide Kiryu is the only other Japanese to break the 10-second barrier, having set a national record of 9.98 seconds in September 2017 by taking 0.02 second off the previous mark set by Koji Ito in 1998.
"I knew I would reach (a sub-10 second time) sooner or later, so it wasn't the first thing on my mind," Sani Brown said.
"I was focused on delivering an all-out effort, carrying over everything I've learned from practice to the race, and just doing what I have to do."
Born to a Ghanaian father and Japanese mother, Sani Brown attended Josai High School in Tokyo before he enrolled with the University of Florida in the fall of 2017.
Earlier Saturday in Yokohama, the Japanese team of Kiryu, Yuki Koike, Ryota Yamagata and Shuhei Tada was disqualified for messing up the final baton handoff in the men's 4x100 heats at the IAAF World Relays.
The May 11-12 event at Nissan Stadium is a qualification stage for the World Athletics Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar between Sept. 27 and Oct. 6.