Tobi Amusan, the reigning world champion in the women’s 100m hurdles, faced disappointment as she finished 6th in the final at the ongoing World Athletics Championship in Budapest on Thursday. The title was claimed by Jamaica’s Danielle Williams, clocking a season-best time of 12.43 seconds. Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico secured second place in 12.44 seconds, followed closely by USA’s Kendra Harrison at 12.46 seconds. Trailing behind, Tobi Amusan crossed the finish line in 12.62 seconds, marking her third consecutive final appearance.
In the 2022 World Championship held in Eugene, USA, Amusan had secured the top position with an African record time of 12.40 seconds. She further solidified her prowess by setting a new world record of 12.12 seconds, surpassing the previous record of 12.20 seconds set by Kendra Harrison in 2016.
Despite her formidable records, Amusan’s bid to become one of only four women to secure two gold medals in the women’s 100m hurdles at the World Championships was not realized. Gail Devers and Michelle Perry from the USA, along with Australian Sally Pearson, remain the only athletes to have achieved this feat.
Competing against formidable opponents including the Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, the Swiss athlete Ditaji Kambundji, and the talented Jamaican duo of Ackera Nugent and Danielle Williams, Amusan’s pursuit of a consecutive world title proved to be a challenging endeavor.
Amusan’s journey to the final saw her qualify with a time of 12.56 seconds, securing her place ahead of Jamaican Achkara Nugent who clocked 12.60 seconds. The Nigerian sprinter had started her title defense with a time of 12.48 seconds in the fifth heat of the women’s 100m hurdles.
Amusan’s journey to the World Championship final had been fraught with uncertainty as concerns arose about her eligibility. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) had cleared Amusan a mere two days before the championship’s commencement, after a disciplinary panel found her innocent of any wrongdoing related to Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRV) and Whereabouts Failures.
While Amusan’s performance was highly anticipated, her inability to defend her title underscores the unpredictable nature of sports. Her exceptional achievements leading up to the championship, including her world record-setting run, remain a testament to her remarkable abilities and contributions to the sport.
With Amusan’s loss in the final, Team Nigeria is yet to secure a medal on the sixth day of the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Despite this setback, Tobi Amusan’s legacy as a world champion and record-setter endures, showcasing her significant contributions to Nigerian and global athletics.