Tobi Amusan became the first Nigerian athlete to win a World Athletics Championship gold meals as she stormed to victory in the women’s 100m hurdles in Oregon in the early hours of Monday.
Amusan, who had obliterated the world record in an astonishing semi-final where she clocked 12.12sec, powered over the line at Hayward Field in 12.06sec.
Her winning time will not be recognised as a world record, however, due to a strong following wind of 2.5 metres per second.
Jamaica’s Britany Anderson took silver in 12.23sec, while Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico claimed bronze also in 12.23sec.
Amusan had produced a jaw-dropping world record in the semi-finals, smashing the previous best mark of 12.20sec held by Kendra Harrison of the United States in 2016.
Speaking after her final victory, Amusan said: “Honestly, I believe in my abilities but I was not expecting a world record at these championships. The goal is always just to execute well and get the win. So the world record is a bonus. I knew I had it in me but I could not believe it when I saw it on the screen after the semis.
“Before the final, I just tried to stay calm and to do my best. I took a deep breath knowing that I have some goal to accomplish and it worked pretty good. I knew it was very fast but not this fast.”
Harrison had been left in Amusan’s slipstream in the semi final, and was again shown a clean pair of heels by the Nigerian in the final.
Amusan got off to a scorching start and was smoothly into her stride after the first hurdle, building a clear lead and then pulling away ahead of Anderson and the fast-closing Camacho-Quinn.
Apart from being Nigeria’s first ever gold medallist in the championship, Amusan’s 12.06 seconds mark, wind-added (+2.5 m/s), was the first in 36 years. It was the 4th world record set in women’s hurdles. The first two world records were set way back in 1969 when Nigeria was fighting a civil war. Then, women’s hurdles were moved up from the 80meters to the present day 100m.
Amusan’s world record of 12.06sec at Oregon on Monday morning was also better than the 12.20sec of Kendra Harrison of the USA in 2016.
Amusan’s world record earned her $100,000 bonus on the final day of the Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championship.
Also, in the long Ese Brume grabbed a silver medal with a lept of 7.02 meters.
Meanwhile, the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa, has sent congratulatory messages to the duo of Tobiloba Amusan and Ese Brume for their victory at the World Athletics Championship, which ended last night in Oregon, United States.
Okowa, who stayed awake to watch the two Nigerians could not hide his feelings.
“I can’t believe what has just happened in the history of Nigeria’s athletics.
“A big congratulations to Amusan and Brume for this historic moment. Our struggle was not in vain. They have made Nigeria proud. They have given me more hope and the courage to do more for athletics irrespective of the challenges we are facing. I thank God for what He has done for Nigeria through Amusan and Brume,” Okowa said.