|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.
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.
He was the 2015 New Balance 400 meters National Champion and the 2015 New Balance Outdoor 400-meter hurdles National Champion.
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.
Benjamin wanted to run for the USA, since he was born in New York, but at the 2013 World Youth Championships in Athletics, he represented Antigua in the 400 m hurdles.
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:
|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
Benjamin is the son of West Indies international and Antiguan cricketer Winston Benjamin.
Information from World Athletics profile unless otherwise noted.
|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]|
|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|
|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|