By Ben Hart, Sportsbeat
Time is in short supply for Olympic sprinters but Eugene Amo-Dadzie insists he won’t be caught clock-watching.
The self-proclaimed world’s fastest accountant, 31, is hoping to feature in the fleet of Paris-bound Team GB stars despite only taking running seriously since he was 26.
While his rivals chase PBs and podium finishes 100m star Amo-Dadzie has other priorities – but still backs himself to mix it with the best.
“It’s one of those things that I like to shout about,” said the Rainham native, who recently became one of over 1,000 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, which has allowed him to increase his training time, access some of the world’s best coaches and facilities as well as benefit from pioneering medical support – vital for his pathway to Paris.
“I very much see myself as a civilian, a normal person, I was working nine to five for however many years and have stepped into the world of elite sport.
“I’ve got a daughter and another baby on the way and I hope they’ll be proud and talk about their dad as an athlete as well as a chartered accountant.
“It’s tough at times but it also gives me a competitive advantage in the sense that when I’m on the start line, I’m not so concerned about the outcome of the race in terms of putting food on the table.
“Working and being an athlete at the same time is something I’m very proud about and I feel like it gives me an edge over my opponents.”
After beating the Olympic champion, Marcell Jacobs, in his world individual 100m semi-final and coming within 0.02sec of a world 4x100m relay medal, Amo-Dadzie has strong evidence to support his claims.
Many of his competitors have devoted their lives to Olympic glory, working their way up from junior competitions to the world stage, but Amo-Dadzie has no such concerns around fatigue.
“I started at 26 and the wear and tear on my body is probably more akin to that of an 18 or 19-year-old than a 31-year-old athlete,” said Amo-Dadzie, who works at a subsidiary of Berkeley Group, St George PLC.
“There are so many other hurdles that we have in life, why should I add another one by telling myself I’m too old or that it’s too late?
“Let me go out there, get after it and surround myself with people who can help me along that journey.
“There’s no harm in trying.”
Amo-Dadzie is certainly giving it his best shot and is in safe hands with sprint coach Steve Fudge, whose former mentees include Jonnie Peacock and Adam Gemili.
And thanks to the support of National Lottery players, Amo-Dadzie is striking a better balance between spreadsheets and speed work.
“The impact The National Lottery has had on me has been absolutely mega,” he added.
“Before I was paying for coaches, nutrition and kit from my own salary. Now I have the mental capacity to train more, every extra moment I have with my coach is gold dust in an Olympic year, so the support of National Lottery players has been mega.
“The biggest thing for me is flying the flag for people who feel like it’s too late to pursue something.
“At the end of the year, if I’ve been able to inspire people in that way, I’ll be happy.”
National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk #TNLAthletes #MakeAmazingHappen