Fans have praised Tobi Amusan’s world record-breaking sprint at the just-concluded World Athletics Championships in Oregon, the United States, which saw her receive Nigeria’s first-ever World Championship gold.
Heading into the competition, the Nigerian hurdler held a personal best and African record of 12.41secs which she achieved in June.
She surpassed this feat on Saturday as she ran a new record heat time ever at a global championship, finishing her race with a time of 12.40secs. She then broke both the African record and global record twice again in the finals on Sunday, with a time of 12.12secs in the semi-final and 12.06secs in the final, beating the previous record of 12.20secs set by the USA’s Keni Harrison in 2016.
The University of Texas El Paso alumnus, who missed out on the podium in Tokyo last year, has now broken the African record five times in 10 months (12.42secs in Zurich, 12.41secs in Paris, 12.40secs, 12.12, and 12.06secs in Eugene).
Since she achieved this, Nigerians have taken to social media to praise the 25-year-old’s impressive run.
The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, praised the feat, “I sincerely congratulate Tobi Amusan on winning the 100M hurdles gold medal and setting a world record. Her tears at the ceremony podium while the Nigerian anthem played, connects that our dear country needs leaders to match the talents and ambitions of her youths.-PO”
Popular TV personality, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu wrote, “Tobi Amusan. First-ever Nigerian athlete in history to set a world record in any event. 12.12 seconds in the 100m Hurdles!!! Unreal.”
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, commented, “All hail Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, the record-breaking women’s 100m hurdles champion. I am particularly proud of this feat, and it underscores my plan to refocus investments in sports, and creative sectors, amongst others. #WorldAthleticsChamps -AA”
Nicholas Eke was obviously impressed by her performance, “This is an amazing feat. Enough spacing of the whole pack. What a great athlete, Tobi Amusan is on fire.”
Another hurdler, Jamaican Danielle Williams, who finished sixth in the competition and hugged Amusan after the finals spoke after the race saying, “Tobi spoke it into existence. She had written ‘Incoming record holder’ before the race. And to see it unfold, I am proud of Tobi.
“She’s one of my closest friends. It’s nothing short of inspirational, I know what she has gone through over the years and finishing fourth twice is not easy, but she hasn’t thrown in the towel. To do this right now is amazing.”
Amusan, who finished fourth, three years ago at the World Championship in Doha, is now the second Nigerian sprint hurdler to win a medal at the Championships after Glory Alozie, who won a silver medal in Seville, Spain in 1999.
She is now the first Nigerian to win a Diamond League trophy, the first Nigerian to break a World Record, and the first Nigerian to become a World Champion.