Tobi Amusan: Nigeria’s golden girl causes a stir after world record victory at the World Athletics Championships

Amusan came in with a record time of 12.12 seconds, beating Kendra Harrison’s 2016 record of 12.20 by 0.8 second.

She went on to win gold in the final, although her initial finish time of 12.06 was ruled out due to strong wind speeds.

Amusan’s world record sent shockwaves through the athletics world.

“Wow” tweeted Jamaican athletics great Usain Bolt, while 200m champion and American record holder Noah Lyles tweeted: “12.12 are you kidding me?” Both congratulated her on Twitter.

In November 2016, the now 25-year-old tweeted: “Unknown now but soon I will be unforgettable, I will continue until I succeed.”

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw it on the screen after the semi-final. But it was just a matter of time,” Amusan told reporters on Sunday.

Her victory – Nigeria’s first gold in such an event – was met with joy, with congratulations pouring in from a state governor and one presidential candidate at the upcoming election in 2023.

But some expressed skepticism at the race, where several competitors ran their best times ever.

“I don’t believe 100 hours is correct. World record broken by 0.08! 12 PB set. 5 national records set,” four-time Olympic gold medalist and BBC commentator Michael Johnson wrote on Twitteradding that Great Britain’s Cindy Sember commented that she had been running slowly at the time of her personal best and national record.
In the semi-finals, several athletes set their best times.

“All the athletes looked shocked,” said the former 200- and 400-meter runner.

“Heat 2 we were initially shown a winning time of 12.53. A few seconds later it shows 12.43. Rounding down by .01 is normal. .10 is not,” he said.

Johnson received swift and fierce backlash for his comments, later returning to Twitter to clarify further, pointing out that he had predicted Amusan would win.

“As a commentator, my job is to comment. By questioning the times of 28 athletes (not 1 athlete) by wondering if the timing system was not working, I was attacked, accused of racism and of questioning the talent of an athlete, I respect and predicted. to win. Unacceptable. I’m moving on,” he said.

CNN has reached out to World Athletics for comment.

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