Antiguan star athlete Rai Benjamin switches allegiance to USA

By October 04, 2018
Rai Benjamin has now been cleared to represent the USA Rai Benjamin has now been cleared to represent the USA

Rai Benjamin, one of the fastest men in history in the 400m hurdles is officially a USA athlete.

The 21-year-old athlete is a three-time NCAA Division champion and this past season became the third fastest man in history when he won the 2018 NCAA title in 47.02s. Only world-record holder Kevin Young (46.78) and Abderrahman Samba (46.98) are faster.

Benjamin, the son of former Windies fast bowler Winston Benjamin, was born in the United States. However, he represented Antigua and Barbuda at the 2013 World Youth Championships and the 2015 World Relays.

His request to compete for the United States was delayed when the IAAF announced a freeze in February of 2017 on athlete's switching allegiances.

The transfer process was eventually completed on Thursday when he received a letter from United States Track and Field indicating that his transfer was now complete.

The letter, in part, over the signature of USATF Sarah Austin, Manager of Legal Affairs read: "Good morning M. Benjamin, Early this morning, the USATF was advised that the IAAF Nationality Review Panel has approved you to compete on behalf of the United States with immediate effect..."

Benjamin turned pro at the end of the NCAA season signing with Nike.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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