|Born||July 27, 1997|
Mount Vernon, New York
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||77 kg (170 lb)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|College team||USC Trojans (2018)|
UCLA Bruins (2016, 2017)
|Coached by||Joanna Hayes|
Caryl Smith Gilbert
|Achievements and titles|
Rai Benjamin (born July 27, 1997) is an American professional hurdler and sprinter specializing in the 400 m and 400 m hurdles. He is the second fastest man in history in the 400 m hurdles with a personal best time of 46.17 s. He won a silver medal at his first Olympic Games in 2021 and at the World Championships in 2019 in the men's 400 m hurdles, and gold medals in the 4 × 400 m relay at the same competitions.
In college Benjamin ran for the UCLA Bruins and then the USC Trojans, where in early 2018 he was part of the team that set the world best time in the indoor 4 × 400 m relay with a time of 3:00.77. At the time, his relay split time of 44.35 s was the fastest ever recorded in an indoor race. In June of the same year he also helped set the NCAA record in the same event but outdoors, and ran what was at the time the second fastest 400 m hurdles race of all-time in 47.02 s.
Early life and career
Rai Benjamin, from Mount Vernon High School (New York), was the fastest 2015 prep time in the United States in the 400m hurdles with a time of 49.97, fastest 400 m indoor time in the country with a 46.59 and the third fastest outdoor time 46.19.
Benjamin won the 2015 New York Indoor State meet with a national leading time of 33.17 in the 300 meters. He was a three-time New York State Public High School Athletic Association champion in the 400m hurdles.
Just after completing his second year, he represented Antigua and Barbuda at the 2013 World Youth Championships. Just after graduating, he won a silver medal in the 400 meters at the 2015 CARIFTA Games.
In 2017, the IAAF suspended all transfers of allegiance, meaning Benjamin could not represent the United States until transfers were reinstated in summer 2018. In October 2018, Benjamin's transfer request was approved, allowing him to represent the United States abroad and compete in USATF Championship events.
At the 2018 Meeting Areva in Paris, he ran 19.99 in the 200 meters to take .65 of a second off his previous personal best. He became the 72nd person to break 20 seconds, in what is perhaps his third best event on the track.
At the 2019 Mt. SAC Relays, that year at El Camino College in Torrance, California, Benjamin joined his training partner and previous college teammate, Michael Norman running the 400 meters. Benjamin ran his personal best of 44.31, the 50th best time in history behind Norman's 43.45, which turned out to be the fastest 400 run in the 2019 season and tied him as the 4th fastest of all time.
Benjamin is a three-time NCAA Division I track champion. As a college student-athlete, Benjamin earned three Pac-12 conference titles, one Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title, and eight NCAA Division I All-America honors (five outdoor, three indoor).
Benjamin's All-America honors were for these accomplishments:
- 2016 indoor, as part of a seventh-place team finish in the indoors distance medley relay, with a time of 9:34.9.
- 2016 outdoor, for a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles in 49.82.
- 2017 outdoor, for a second-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles in 48.33, and as part of a team finish of 39.89 in the 4x100m relay.
- 2018 indoor, for a third-place finish in the 200m, and as part of a team that set a college indoor track record of 3:00.77 in the 4x400m relay.
- 2018 outdoor, as part of a team that won the 4x400m relay in 2:59.00, and for a college record time of 47.02 in the 400m hurdles. His time equalled Edwin Moses's for the second fastest time in history.
|Year||Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
Indoor track and field
|NCAA Division I|
Outdoor track and field
|Representing the University of Southern California|
|2018||200 m 3rd
|400 m hurdles 1st
|400 m hurdles 1st|
|400 m 1st
|4x400 m 1st
|4x100 m 1st
|4x400 m 1st|
|2017||4x400 m 5th
|400 m hurdles 1st
|400 m hurdles 2nd|
|200 m 3rd
|Representing the University of California, Los Angeles|
|2016||400 m 7th
|400 m hurdles
|400 m hurdles 6th|
|4x100 m 4th
|Outdoor||400 m hurdles||46.17||Tokyo, Japan||August 3, 2021||AR, #2 all-time|
|400 m||44.31||Torrance, California, U.S.||April 20, 2019|
|200 m||19.99||Paris, France||June 30, 2018||−0.6 m/s wind|
|100 m||10.03||Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.||July 20, 2020||+1.6 m/s wind|
|4×400 m relay||2:55.70||Tokyo, Japan||August 7, 2021||2021 world lead|
|Indoor||400 m||45.39||New York, New York, U.S.||February 13, 2021|
|300 m||32.35||New York, New York, U.S.||February 8, 2020|
|200 m||20.34||College Station, Texas, U.S.||March 10, 2018|
|4×400 m relay||3:00.77||College Station, Texas, U.S.||March 10, 2018||World best[note 1]|
International championship results
|2013||World Youth Championships||Donetsk, Ukraine||15th||400 m hurdles||52.36|
|2015||CARIFTA Games (U20)||Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis||2nd||400 m||46.19||PB|
|World Relays||Nassau, Bahamas||DNF (semi 1)||4×200 m relay||—|
|2019||World Championships||Doha, Qatar||2nd||400 m hurdles||47.66|
|1st||4×400 m relay||2:56.69||WL, PB|
|2021||Olympic Games||Tokyo, Japan||2nd||400 m hurdles||46.17||PB AR|
|1st||4x400 m relay||2:55.70||SB|
- Diamond League (400 m hurdles)
- World Indoor Tour (300 m)
- Boston: 2019
National championship results
|2016||NCAA Division I Championships||Eugene, Oregon||6th||400 m hurdles||49.82||PB|
|2017||NCAA Division I Championships||Eugene, Oregon||2nd||400 m hurdles||48.33||PB|
|22nd||4×100 m relay||39.89|
|2018||NCAA Division I Indoor Championships||College Station, Texas||3rd||200 m||20.34||PB|
|1st||4×400 m relay||3:00.77||WB[note 1]|
|NCAA Division I Championships||Eugene, Oregon||1st||400 m hurdles||47.02||WL, CR, PB|
|1st||4×400 m relay||2:59.00||CR, PB|
|2019||U.S. Championships||Des Moines, Iowa||1st||400 m hurdles||47.23|
|2021||U.S. Olympic Trials||Eugene, Oregon||1st||400 m hurdles||46.83||WL, MR, PB, #3 all-time|
|Year||400 m hurdles||400 m||200 m|
- Sully, Kevin (October 4, 2018). "Rai Benjamin Cleared To Tompete for the US". milesplit.com. FloSports, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- Lindstrom, Sieg (January 19, 2019). "New Flag, New Beginning for Rai Benjamin". trackandfieldnews.com. Track & Field News. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- "Rai Benjamin". eurosport.com. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
- Sully, Kevin (June 14, 2018). "Rai Benjamin is Now a Nike Athlete". flotrack.org. FloSports, Inc. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- Wharton, David (April 20, 2019). "Mt. SAC Relays' road show ends with some top marks, including Michael Norman's 400 win". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- Rowbottom, Mike (July 1, 2018). "Norman and Benjamin the latest starts to shine in the IAAF Diamond League". iaaf.org. IAAF. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- Zaccardi, Nick (June 30, 2018). "Abderrahman Samba runs second-fastest 400m hurdles ever (video)". nbcsports.com. NBC. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- track ucla mount vernon rai benjamin
- Burke, Timothy (June 8, 2018). "Rai Benjamin Runs 47.02 400m Hurdles, Tied For Second-Fastest in Human History". deadspin.com. Deadspin. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
- "400m hurdles (84.0 cm) Boys semi-final results".
- "Transfer of Allegiance".
- 2018 Paris Diamond League 200 m
- "200 Metres - men - senior - outdoor".
- "400 Metres - men - senior - outdoor".
- "400 Metres - men - senior - outdoor".
- "Rai Benjamin at USC". Track & Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS). Retrieved June 30, 2018.
- Rai Benjamin USC profile University of Southern California. June 30, 2018
- Rai Benjamin UCLA track results TFRRS. June 30, 2018
- Rai Benjamin UCLA profile University of California Los Angeles. June 30, 2018
- Levy, Leighton (October 4, 2018). "Antiguan star athlete Rai Benjamin switches allegiance to USA". sportsmax.tv. SportsMaxTV. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- "ATHLETE PROFILE Rai BENJAMIN". World Athletics. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
- Joe Fleming (March 12, 2018). "World, collegiate records highlight NCAA indoor track and field championships". usatoday.com. USA Today. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
- "RAI BENJAMIN UCLA". tfrrs.org. Track & Field Results Reporting System. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- "RAI BENJAMIN USC". tfrrs.org. Track & Field Results Reporting System. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- Rai Benjamin on Twitter
- Rai Benjamin at World Athletics
- Rai Benjamin profile at TFRRS (USC)
- Rai Benjamin profile at TFRRS (UCLA)
- Rai Benjamin bio at USC Trojans
- Rai Benjamin bio at UCLA Bruins
- Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin at Mt SAC Relays 2019 via MyStyle Records on YouTube
- Michael Norman 19.84 Wins Men's 200m – IAAF Diamond League Paris 2018 via IAAF Diamond League on YouTube (Rai Benjamin 2nd in 19.99)