Tobi Amusan: From Olympic Trials Despair To African Record
Tobi Amusan becomes the first Nigerian to win a Diamond League trophy as she clocks a new African Record of 12.42s to clinch the win in the women’s 100m Hurdles at Zurich.
The feat surpasses the former African record of 12.44s by Gloria Alozie at 1998 women 100m Hurdles at the Monte Carlo Herculis-Zepter, Monaco.
Alozie went on to equal that record twice in her career.
First at the Bruxelles Memorial Van Damme that same season, 1998 to win.
Also, she hit the same time at the 1999 Sevilla World Championships behind Gail Devers (12.37s).
Tobi Amusan: The Zero Moment With Despair
Earlier in the year, the African champion ran what looked like a perfect race and was sure to have broken the African record at the Nigerian Olympic trials in Yabatech.
Amusan later found out that the perfect race was un-timed during her race.
“About 80 meters into the race, as I approached the home stretch, from the corner of my eye, I couldn’t help but notice that the display clock stayed at Zero the whole time. “That’s strange, I thought. I had never experienced that before.
I mean I wouldn’t put it past Nigeria. But the timer not working, happening during one of the biggest races of my career. Hell no! So it was quite astonishing seeing all that effort come down to an important moment of just simply timing the final, or so it seemed.” Tobi wrote in her emotional piece on athlst.com
The event went without official communication as Tobi Amusan was on her own with zero time.
The Olympic Hangover.
The feeling never left her as she fell short by one spot off the medal zone at the Tokyo Olympics.
”It’s great, it is a great feeling. Looking back, I did not win a medal at the Olympics. It was a very challenging time for me afterwards, but I never gave up, and I came out here and, I was like if I did not get a medal in Tokyo, the least I can do is get a Diamond League Trophy – and I just did that!
For the second time in a short space of three months, Tobi needed another perfect race and, this time, it counted.
“The hurdles is a very mental event and, my coach is always telling me I need to focus on myself and execute. Once you execute, you don’t have a problem going over the hurdles. I’m glad I came out with a win. I have one more meeting in Zagreb, and I can go take the season off. I am really looking forward to it.” Tobi Amusan.
After the race and realization that she has become the fastest African woman in the 100m hurdles, Amusan let out her emotions.
she covered herself with the Nigerian flag with tears of joy streaming down her cheeks.
In 21 years since the Diamond League started, no Nigerian athlete has been able to win the prestigious trophy in any of the disciplines.
Tobi Amusan not only wins the trophy, but she will also get a prize reward of 30,000 Dollars.