AW travels to Lee Valley to catch up with the 30-year-old after his incredible 9.93 run in Austria
With a laptop placed on his lap, Eugene Amo-Dadzie is busy working away at his day job, as a full-time chartered accountant.
Not from his office desk in a city skyscraper but the 60m track at Lee Valley Sports Centre.
He’s been allowed to work from home – AKA his training facilities – and has his briefcase stored next to the acupuncture table.
Amo-Dadzie is used to balancing up his full-time job as a senior management accountant for a subsidiary of Berkeley Group, with his sprinting ambitions.
The 30-year-old, who only started running seriously four years ago, created waves of attention over the weekend when he clocked 9.93 (0.1) to go joint-fourth on the UK all-time list. That time was also the joint-sixth fastest by a Brit in history. Only 10 British men have gone sub-10 seconds over the 100m. Amo-Dadzie is the 11th.
“I just want to have a dust up. Let’s go to war and see who comes out on top.”
After his 9.93 run in Austria, @TrackDadzie, who is a full-time accountant, is full of belief as he prepares for the British Trials on July 8-9 🇬🇧
The target is now @wabudapest23 ✈️
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) June 19, 2023
It hadn’t come out of nowhere. AW spoke to Amo-Dadzie at the European Indoor Championships back in March after he was knocked at the semi-final stage. The fact that Amo-Dadzie, representing Great Britain in his first ever major championships, was up against Olympic 100m champion Marcell Lamont Jacobs, proved how far he’d come.
His 9.93 clocking in Graz Austria, however, was a step up again. The wind was pretty much dead and you wonder how close Amo-Dadzie would’ve got to Linford Christie’s British record of 9.87 if there was a perfect legal tailwind.
To put the longevity into context, Amo-Dadzie wasn’t even a one-year-old when Christie set that time.
The full-time accountant is now in touching reach of that historic mark and it’s now about being consistent ahead of the UK Athletics Championships (July 8-9).
“I know we’re in a sport that judges you on how high you jump, how far you can throw or what the clock stops at when you cross that line,” Amo-Dadzie tells AW. “For me, however, I’m process oriented. I don’t get drawn into the hypotheticals. If it happens, it happens.
“Do I believe I can break the British [100m] record? By the grace of God, why not? I don’t think that many people ask themselves that question. They’ll be a queue of people telling you why you can’t do something.
“Some people think I might be deluded but shoutout to Jazmin Sawyers. Her speech at the European Indoors in Istanbul included the line ‘a little delusion goes a long way’. As a man of faith, that resonated with me.
“Your job in life is to subscribe to proving people that doubt you wrong. Anything who has ever done anything great believed they could do it. I’m not standing here saying I’m going to break Linford’s record but if it does happen it would be because I believed it could happen and I’ve worked hard for it.”
Regardless of times, Amo-Dadzie knows that if he finishes inside the top two at next month’s national championships, then he will be on the plane to Budapest and represent Great Britain at this year’s Word Championships.
He and Reece Prescod – 9.99 (0.4) at Hengelo – are the only two Brits to have gone under 10 seconds this year so far.
“I want to take care of business [at the UKA Champs],” he says. “I just want to have a dust up with those guys. My journey to get to this point hasn’t been plain sailing by any means. Last year I was injured and I missed the UK trials so I missed the chance to go to the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and European Championships.
“All I wanted to do when I was watching was to be in the mixer. These are the names [Prescod and Zharnel Hughes] that have been at the forefront of sprinting in this country for a long time. Let’s go to war and see who comes out on top.
“I’m relishing that battle and I’m not going to be scared by that. Some people might say there’s a target on my back now but I”m not the type of person to shy away from a battle. I’m very much ready to do what needs to be done and my eyes are on those objectives.”
Five years ago these thoughts would’ve been a fantasy.
Amo-Dadzie hadn’t planned to take up sprinting seriously until he was persuaded by his best friend Ben. The pair play Saturday League football with each other and five years ago were travelling back from a match at Aston Playing Fields – the home of Woodford Green and Essex Ladies AC – when they stopped and watched a 100m race.
Eugene Amo-Dadzie, who labels himself as the “fastest accountant in the world” and started sprinting just four years ago, has clocked 9.93 (0.1) over 100m 🔥
It puts him joint-fourth on the UK all-time list and it’s the joint-sixth quickest time by a Brit in history 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/IqYd4uylmD
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) June 16, 2023
Ben advised him that if he put a pair of spikes he could beat the guys who took part.
A spark went off in Amo-Dadzie’s brain and he joined Woodford Green and Essex Ladies AC in the autumn of 2018. A year on, he had clocked a wind-legal best of 10.93.
It’s exactly a second behind his current best mark of 9.93 and progression is obvious, with personal bests of 10.20 and 10.05 in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
A significant factor to that development is Amo-Dadzie’s coach Steve Fudge, who trained James Dasaolu between 2012-2016 and Adam Gemili between 2013-2016.
Fudge, who spotted Amo-Dadzie at the 2020 Essex County and Eastern AA Championships, was impressed and took the then 27-year-old under his wing later on that year.
The pair have prioritised process over times on the clock and Amo-Dadzie is open about the changes that have helped him run quicker.
“When I first came to my current coach Steve Fudge I did the 100m in about 48 steps,” Amo-Dadzie adds. “There was a lot of frequency going on. When I ran 9.93 it was in 45 steps. I’ve not done that by sacrificing my natural skills which is being more of a frequency based runner. People like Usain Bolt are stride guys and I think he once ran the 100m in about 41 strides which is insane.
“It’s how do we improve technically. I’m not a gatekeeper of anything and I put my stuff out there. You can see how the mechanics have changed over time. I don’t worry about how fast I am running in training, my concern is how do I execute it?
“I’m trying to create a model that when I’m in the right situation – when the wind is good and it’s warm – that I can run a quick time. It wasn’t a surprise to my coach or me as I believed it could happen.
“It’s closing the gap between my lack of exposure to high speed running and the strength and conditioning side of the sport, to the talent I obviously have. I have a much engine now than a few years ago and I can now handle that type of running. I didn’t rotate and stayed on it when doing that 9.93.”
So how does Amo-Dadzie find the time to train on top of being a full-time chartered accountant?
This is how Eugene Amo-Dadzie clocked 9.93 (0.1) 🔥
In doing so, he went joint-fourth on the UK 100m all-time list 🇬🇧
In four years, he has improved his 100m PB from 10.93 to 9.93 💥pic.twitter.com/c6u8wqYd6y
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) June 16, 2023
He states that such was the backing from colleagues at work, his old finance director actually made a provision in his contract that meant he could train. Amo-Dadzie is grateful for their support.
“My manager and finance director have been phenomenal,” he tells AW. “I took holiday at short notice to go to the European Indoors and they were happy with that. They let me take my work laptop to Houston to a warm weather training camp and work remotely.
“They do accommodate this sport and understand the level that I’m now at. A large part of my job satisfaction now comes from being able to pursue my dreams in this sport. They don’t want to take that away from me.
“I actually shared it [the 9.93 ] on LinkedIn and my old manager and current FD reached out. They’re excited about it and how I’m an ambassador for the company. It’s such a bonus for them being as supportive as they are.”
If Amo-Dadzie keeps plugging away those kind of times on a consistent basis then there is no doubt sponsorship will soon be knocking on his door.
He already had UK anti-doping do that when they arrived at his house at 6.45am, the morning he got back from Austria. Amo-Dadzie takes that as a compliment and “validation of his achievement”.
Erudite, charismatic and deeply religious, Amo-Dadzie wants to inspire people with his story, especially those who started out in life at a later stage than the majority.
He is beyond relatable and has an infectious personality that makes you want to listen on a deep level.
It’s only fair then that Amo-Dadzie gets the last word in.
“I think I have such a beautiful and unique story that can be really powerful,” he adds. “I want it to be testament, evidence and proof that if you commit yourself and believe that something is possible then, God willing, it can find a way of happening.
“I’m a man of faith and this isn’t passive, it’s active faith. There’s no logic to my story but someone who was willing to put work in has made something happen. If you’re too old or busy, then try out your dream. Everyone gets dealt a hand and I’m going to play the heck out of mine.”
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