2. Tobi Amusan
From one record breaker to another, but this time around, the focus is on a hurdler who stunned the Athletics world with her astonishing performances, especially within the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) in the USA.
Amusan set a string of Personal Bests (PB) from her major event the 100m Hurdles, to the 100m, 200m and even the Long Jump. All these were done as a Freshman at the University Of Texas, El Paso (UTEP).
She kicked off her stellar season indoors when she won the Conference USA 60m Hurdles Title in 8.23s, the third best time in her school’s history. Later on she was named Freshman of the Meet and High Point Scorer at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships after winning the 100m Hurdles, 200m and finishing 2nd in the Long Jump in PB’s of 13.06s, 23.27s and 6.06m respectively.
Already gaining recognition in USA and becoming a threat to other NCAA athletes, Amusan proved her mettle once again by winning a Silver medal in the NCAA Division 1 Track and Field Championships, after clocking a wind-assisted time of 12.79s, finishing ahead of tournament favourite Cindy Ofili. She was subsequently named Conference USA Track Athlete of the Year (female).
This feat came weeks after she broke 13s for the first time in her career at the UTEP Invitational where she clocked 12.83s to shatter her school’s 33-year old record of 12.95s. The time is the African Junior Record (AJR) and ranks second on the all-time list.
Brimming with much confidence ahead of the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland as the World Junior Leader, Amusan ran then second fastest time of her life, clocking 12.95s to place 5th after having an arm infringement with the athlete on the right side of her lane, which totally altered her momentum.
The 19-year old shrugged off this disappointment at the Olympic Games where she only missed the final of her event by a whisker, placing 3rd in the semifinals with an impressive time of 12.91s. Her achievements throughout the course of the year, and semifinal exit in Rio, secured her the No.2 position on our list.