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Ontario sprinter could shake up Canadian Olympic 100m team

There's a lot of depth in Canadian sprinting, and Duan Asemota of Ajax, Ont., is continuing to make his mark

Duan Asemota Photo by: Muad Issa (@muadems)

The top two fastest men’s Canadian 100m sprinters in 2024 aren’t the household names you’d expect. One is an unsponsored business consultant from Ajax, Ont., who put his name in the conversation for both the Olympic 1o0m and 4x100m relay team selection with a wind-legal 10.03 seconds clocking at the Bob Vigars Classic in London, Ont., last weekend. Duan Asemota has followed in the footsteps of Andre De Grasse and he hopes to shake things up on the Canadian Olympic team this summer.

As things stand, Asemota sits inside the World Athletics quota to potentially be selected for the 100m event in Paris; it would be his first Olympic team. The only runner with a faster time this season is Edmonton sprinter Malachi Murray, who ran 10.01 seconds earlier this year.

Asemota’s time also put him into the top 10 all-time among Canadian sprinters. “Although I feel good about it, the goal is to get the 10.00 Olympic standard,” says Asemota. “There’s much more to come, as this is only my second race of the outdoor season.”

In his first race of the season, the 27-year-old broke the 10-second barrier with a wind-aided (+3.4 m/s) 9.98-second clocking in Baton Rouge, La., where he beat fellow Canadian sprinters Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney and Murray. Rodney is the only Canadian athlete with the Paris 2024 Olympic standard of 10.00 seconds—a time he ran at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in July 2023, when the Olympic qualifying window opened.

Asemota is a product of Toronto’s Speed Academy, run by former Canadian Olympian Tony Sharpe, which has developed some of the country’s top talent, including six-time Olympic sprint medallist Andre De Grasse and young 400m phenom Christopher Morales Williams. “Chris and I having stellar seasons says a lot about Tony’s eye for talent,” says Asemota. “Tony has found some of the best sprinters of this era.”

Duan Asemota World Relays
Asemota was an alternate for the Canadian 4x100m relay team at the 2024 World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo: Kenny Zhong

With the Bell Canadian Olympic Track and Field Trials in Montreal at the end of June, Asemota has not only put his name in the conversation for the 100m event, but he also hopes to be a starter on the men’s 4x100m relay team. “I’ve been in the Canadian relay pool for a few years now as an alternate, but I want a shot on the backstretch,” says Asemota on the position currently held by Jerome Blake. “Whatever coach Glenroy (Gilbert) decides is the best decision to make at the Olympics is 100 per cent up to him.”

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