Nigeria’s Amusan Wins World 100m hurdles title after breaking World Record in semis

Tobi Amusan became the first Nigerian athlete to win a World Athletics Championship gold as she stormed to victory in the women’s 100m hurdles in Oregon on Sunday, breaking the World Record in both the semifinal and then again in the final.

Amusan, who had obliterated the world record in an astonishing semifinal where she clocked 12.12sec, powered over the line at Hayward Field in 12.06sec.

Her winning time will not be recognized as a world record, however, due to a strong following win 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 in 12.23.

Amusan had produced a jaw-dropping world record in the semifinals, smashing the previous best mark of 12.20secs held by Keni Harrison of the United States since 2016.

“Honestly, I believe in my abilities but I was not expecting a world record at these championships,” Amusan said after her final victory. “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.”

Three years ago, Amusan finished fourth at the World Championships in Doha. Her form only improved from there, and she posted a personal best of 12.41 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Paris in June before traveling to Eugene for the World Championships. Here her times began to get faster.

She topped that PB by .01 in the qualifying rounds on Saturday, breaking the African record in the process, before breaking the world record in the semifinal and running the wind-aided 12.06 in the final.

In the final, Amusan accelerated ahead of the field after clearing the sixth hurdle. She held off Anderson and Camacho-Quinn, both of whom were officially timed at 12.23 but separated in a photo finish by five-thousandths of a second.

The entire final was a speedy one. To put that in context, Danielle Williams’ sixth-place finish of 12.44 was faster than the gold-medal time at the World Championships in 1991, 1995, 2003, 2005, 2015, and 2017.

“Last year, after the Olympics, I said that hurdles is evolving,” Camacho-Quinn said. “So I feel like, from this point on, it is only going to be faster. We did pretty good.”

“There were a lot of PRs out there today. I think we had the best event of the whole world champs. Just because of the times we put on, and I am very thankful.”

Source: Super Sport/WA/EM

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