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‘I’m on annual leave’: Meet planet’s fastest accountant Eugene Amo-Dadzie racing at World Championships

The 31-year-old Londoner says there are ‘way more significant things going on’ in his life than in track and field as he prepares for his debut at the World Athletics Championships

Mark Walker
Thursday 17 August 2023 09:14 BST
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<p> Eugene Amo-Dadzie still works nine to five when he’s not sprinting</p>

Eugene Amo-Dadzie still works nine to five when he’s not sprinting

Eugene Amo-Dadzie became the joint fourth fastest British sprinter of all time in June and still insists athletics is way down his list of priorities.

What is more remarkable is that the 31-year-old Londoner, dubbed ‘the world’s fastest accountant’, did not take up the sport until he was 26. He clocked 9.93 seconds in the 100m in Graz, Austria in June to tie with Reece Prescod on the British all-time list – Zharnel Hughes, Linford Christie and James Dasaolu are the only Britons to have run faster.

Amo-Dadzie, who still works full-time, followed that up with a third-placed finish behind Hughes and Prescod at the British Championships in Manchester last month. He will now compete alongside them at the World Championships, which get under way in Budapest on Saturday, but stressed he runs purely for fun.

“There’s nothing that’s going to happen in my life of track and field that is that serious,” Amo-Dadzie said. “That’s my mindset. I’m a husband, a father, a school governor and a chartered accountant.

“There are way more significant things going on in my life than there are in track and field. So for me, I’m able to tap into a completely different mindset when I come into the track and field space. I’m able to lock in and perform when I need to perform, but I’m doing so very much from a place of relaxation and fun. I’m enjoying myself when I’m out there.”

Eugene Amo-Dadzie in action during the European Indoor Championships in March

Amo-Dadzie, a senior management accountant for property developer Berkeley Group, had no sponsors or funding before setting the track ablaze in Austria. The Woodford Green sprinter now has an agent and trains part-time – twice a week with coach Steve Fudge at the Lee Valley Centre and twice a week on his own.

“I’ve still got my job. I’m still nine to five,” he said. “I’m out here on annual leave. Tuesday, August 29, I report back to work. It’s a tough balance at times, I won’t lie. Sometimes you feel stretched quite thin, but my missus is incredible and my employers are really supportive.”

Amo-Dadzie drifted away from athletics after school and had too many distractions while studying at the University of Nottingham to take it up again. It was only after walking past a local athletics meeting, having played football with friends in 2018, that “something in (his) mind switched” and he decided to give it a go.

For me, I understand the bigger picture. I've already won. The very fact that I'm sitting here speaking to you guys, I've already won. Anything else is a bonus

Eugene Amo-Dadzie

Amo-Dadzie, who has a two-year-old daughter and is a governor at Emmanuel Community Primary School in Walthamstow, hopes his story proves inspirational.

“There’s an element that doesn’t really make sense,” he said. “It’s not very logical and unique. I want people to look at it and be inspired by it and know it’s never too late.”

There are currently 16 other athletes worldwide who have run quicker than Amo-Dadzie this year and he refused to make any predictions about his chances in Budapest.

“I’m not a results-orientated guy, I’m a process guy,” he said. “God willing, if we take care of the process, the results will take care of themselves. For me, I understand the bigger picture. I’ve already won. The very fact that I’m sitting here speaking to you guys, I’ve already won. Anything else is a bonus.”

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