Tobi Amusan overcame a poor start, racing to victory in the women's 100m at the Paris Diamond League. Photo Credit: @chiaramontesan2

It looked like a lifetime ago when Oluwatobiloba Amusan started attempting to break Glory Alozie’s African Record in women’s 100m Hurdles; now in a space of nine months, she has twice surpassed that mark and is now cementing her place in the pantheons of the great.

Amusan stormed to a new African Record (AR) of 12.41s (-0.4) on Saturday, blazing to a very easy victory in the 100m Hurdles at the Paris Diamond League. It was a time that moved her up to third in the world in 2022, only behind World Leader Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (12.37s) and Alaysha Johnson (12.40s).

The Nigerian athlete was way ahead in her race, getting to the line a clear winner to shave off one-hundredth from her previous AR of 12.42s, almost two-tenths faster than Devynne Charlton who was 2nd in 12.63s (SB) and Cindy Sember 3rd in a time of 12.73s.

Last year at the Zurich Diamond League, Amusan had something to cheer over near misses at the Tokyo Olympics and the 2019 World Championships in Doha, running a new AR of 12.42s to cap off her season, a record she has been chasing for a long time.

Now with the 2022 season entering its business end, Tobi is hitting form at the right time and could be in a very top shape going into the World Championships in Oregon. This is the fastest Amusan has run just before a major championships, and for an athlete needing a boost to exorcise the demons of finishing 4th at two successive global championships, this is the perfect lift she needs.

Amusan has now run seven legal sub 12.5s in the women’s 100m Hurdles, moving clear of Glory Alozie who did four sub 12.5s in her time. Tobi is now gradually charting her own course, writing her name in the history books as a very great African athlete.

This is something she has toiled hard for, starting from Ijebu Ode (Ogun state) where she dutifully climbed the Athletics ladder, transiting through the University of Texas El Paso where she made a name for herself.

It has been a spectacular two weeks to cherish for Amusan: first she was in the rainy Reduit to compete at her second African senior championships, successfully retaining her title in the women’s 100m Hurdles, then she helped Nigeria to GOLD in the women’s 4x100m Relay. Travelling to Finland for the World Continental Tour Gold event, she secured two victories to close out with a 12.57s win.

Although she did not get the perfect start in Paris, she still ate up a lot of ground to come out with her seventh race win in 2022. Now the Nigerian trials beckons for her, and there’s every possibility she might yet surpass that mark, who knows maybe even become the first African woman to run below 12.4s mark. She’s certainly capable of it.

 

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Very proficient in writing and talking about football, but has now found a new love in Athletics. Just a matter of time before I become a master on things pertaining to the tracks. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at NigerianBulletin and Allsports, Christopher is now a Senior Sports writer at Making of Champions.

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