North Carolina A&T’s Akeem Sirleaf qualifies for 2020 Olympics


EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T senior sprinter Akeem Sirleaf has qualified for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, also known as the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Sirleaf qualified 11 months ahead of the opening ceremonies.

The Liberia Athletes Federation (LAF) made the announcement recently after Sirleaf put together impressive showings from March-June with many of those performances coming in an N.C. A&T uniform. Sirleaf will compete Liberia from July 24, 2020 to Aug. 9, 2020.   

“I’m extremely excited for Akeem,” said Duane Ross, N.C. A&T’s director of track and field programs. “He is one of the hardest working people I know, and he has earned this honor to compete at the greatest track meet in the world. He understands that the goal is to be there and win or medal, not just to participate.”

When Sirleaf participated for N.C. A&T during the past indoor and outdoor seasons, he did so as one of the best sprinters in NCAA Division I. Sirleaf transferred to N.C. A&T out of Butler Community College.

In his first season as an Aggie in 2018-19, Sirleaf earned first-team All-American honors during the outdoor season by helping the men’s 4×100-meter relay and the 4×400 relay teams finish fifth nationally. Sirleaf also qualified for the NCAA outdoor championships in the 400 meters. 

During the indoor season, he qualified for NCAA championships in the men’s 200 meters. He won a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) indoor championship in the 4×400 relay and a conference outdoor championship in the 4×100. 

In the process of having an outstanding track season, Sirleaf toppled some Liberian records. He broke the country’s 200-meter record at the 2019 MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a time of 20.37. He finished third in the race. At the same meet, he broke the Liberian 400m record by finishing second in 45.42 seconds. Sirleaf ranks 26th on the IAAF world charts in the 200.

Sirleaf helped the Aggies win their third straight MEAC indoor title and their third straight MEAC title in 2019. Combined in indoor and outdoor, he had 23 top-5 finishes and eight first-place finishes including a win in the 200m at the Florida Relays hosted by the University of Florida. 

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