How Ijebu-Ode Born Amusan Became World Record Holder

How Ijebu-Ode Born Amusan Became World Record Holder

TOBI Amusan on Sunday broke the 100m hurdles world record with a stunning semi-final time of 12.12 seconds – before taking gold at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, US. The Nigerian, 25, from Ijebu Ode, ran even faster in the final – but her 12.06 was ruled ineligible by an illegal tailwind. The previous record of 12.20 was set in 2016 by American Kendra Harrison.

Jamaica’s Britany Anderson took silver and Puerto Rico’s Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn got bronze. Amusan pockets $100,000 [N65million] as reward for breaking the world record. Amusan, who had already run a new African record of 12.40 seconds in Saturday’s heats, said: “I believe in my abilities but I was not expecting a world record at these championships.

“I wanted to get out and go. I did what I had to do.” Great Britain’s Cindy Sember finished fourth in the semi-final won by Amusan, but qualified for the final with a British record of 12.50, beating sister Tiffany Porter’s 2014 mark by one hundredth of a second. It was one of four national records, excluding Amusan’s, run in the semi-finals, with another seven athletes equalling or breaking their personal bests.  

“That was a crazy race. I actually thought I was running slow. Tobi was amazing, I can’t deny,” said.

Sember, who went on to finish fifth in the final. The Ogun State-born sprinter who became Nigeria’s first-ever world champion could not hold back her joy as she broke into tears during the medals ceremony.

The 25-year-old graduate of the University of Texas, in her remarks, said: “You know, I am elated. It’s been a journey, and I am thankful to God for keeping me healthy. To have come out here with a win and the world record is…it’s crazy.”

The reigning Commonwealth Games 100m hurdles title holder added: “I believe in my abilities, but I was not expecting a world record at these championships.

“It’s a dream come true. I knew I had it in me, but I could not believe it when I saw it on the screen after the semis. But it was just a matter of time.”

Nigeria ended the World Athletics Championship in 13th place with Amusan’s gold and silver in long jump from Ese Brume.

 

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