Tobi Amusan: A Shattered Dream?

Tobi Amusan: A Shattered Dream

After successfully defending her African Games and Commonwealth titles, 100m hurdles World Record holder, Tobi Amusan was optimistic of defending her World Athletics Championship gold medal she won in Oregon, United States, a year ago at the Budapest, Hungary, edition. But the first sign that her dream might not come to fruition emanated when the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) suspended her with few weeks to the start of the Championship after being charged with Whereabouts failure which put doubt to her participation in the Championship and indeed, her preparation. It therefore, came as a little shock when she came sixth in the finals on Thursday night.


A little over year ago, Nigerians were celebrating a feat that was achieved by the country’s athlete in far away Oregon, United States as Tobi Amusan not only won gold in the 100m hurdles at the World Athletics Championship, but set a new world record in the event. However, her attempt at defending the title in the next edition of the Championship in Budapest, was futile as she returned a distant sixth.

The 26-year-old did not have the best of starts in the final race and eventually lost her rhythm at the tail end of the race, thus settling for the sixth position.

Amusan’s dethroning is a major upset as she had been the dominant force in the 100m hurdles since winning the gold medal at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon.


The world record holder says she will be back stronger next year after losing the world women’s 100m hurdles crown to Jamaica’s Danielle Williams on Thursday in Budapest.


In an interview with journalists after the game, Amusan said, it was quite “a journey getting into the final” despite all she had gone through in the last couple of weeks.

“I Just want to say a huge thank you to who has been supporting me through the ups and downs, Ya’ll stood by me, kept praying for me, God Bless you all, I am sorry I might have let you all down, but we will back stronger definitely.

“Yeah, it’s a tough one; nobody likes to lose but considering what I have gone through in the past couple of months, I’m so grateful that I came out,” she said.


Amusan did not have the best of starts in the final race and eventually lost her rhythm at the tail end of the race, thus settling for the sixth position.

Her sixth position is a major upset as she had been the dominant force in the 100m hurdles since winning the gold medal at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon.

She also holds the African and Commonwealth Games records in the event.

However, Amusan had a difficult build-up to the 2023 World Championships. She was provisionally suspended by the AIU for missing three out-of-competition drug tests.

She was eventually cleared to compete in Budapest, but the suspension undoubtedly affected her preparations.


Despite the disappointment of being dethroned, Amusan can still be proud of her achievements as she will be looking to bounce back and reclaim her title at the next World Championships in 2025, but before then, she will aim for a good outing at next year’s Paris Olympic Games.

Amusan was always going to be under pressure as she aims to defend her women’s 100m hurdles World Record and the gold medal she won in Oregon, USA last year at the final of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.


In the semifinal, the petit Nigerian sprint hurdler, battled to win her race in 12.56secs in perhaps the slowest time she has posted this season, which was mainly because of her slow reaction time from the block. She had to dig deep to catch up with Jamaican Ackera Nugent who had established a clear lead from the start to hit the finish line first. The Jamaican was second in 12.60 while Dutch girl, Nadine Visser was third in 12.62.

But in Thursday’s final, Amusan did not have such luxury as she again failed to react fast from the blocks and it was Jamaica’s Danielle Williams that led the pack.


Williams, aged 30, had previously secured victory in Beijing back in 2015. This time, she clocked an impressive 12.43 seconds, narrowly surpassing Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn from Puerto Rico, who finished in 12.44 seconds.

Williams managed to find a little extra and crossed the finish line ahead of her two more favored competitors. This was an improvement for Camacho-Quinn, who finished one place higher than last year. The 27-year-old expressed contentment with her silver medal, stating that she was grateful for the improvement from her previous bronze medal at the last world championships.

“If I add my Olympic gold medal I have the whole collection to be proud of.”


Camacho-Quinn, who is only the second Olympic champion from Puerto Rico, expressed gratitude for coming in second place in a highly competitive race.

She stated, “This race was filled with talented athletes, and I was only defeated by a tenth of a second, so I don’t feel any bitterness.”


Kendra Harrison of the United States secured the bronze medal with a time of 12.46 seconds. While both Amusan and the 2019 champion, Nia Ali, struggled to stay competitive in the race. They finished in sixth and last place, respectively.


Harrison has Season’s Best time of 12.24secs in contrast to Amusan’s 12.34. The Nigerian speedster has not been able to repeat her form at this Championships. That is quite understandable. Nobody goes through the type of psychological torture Amusan was subjected to by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) and still be in the right frame of mind to compete at the highest stage of the sport. The accusation of missing three whereabouts tests has really had a telling effect on the Nigerian Golden Girl.

It however remains to be seen how well Amusan recovers psychologically ahead of the challenges ahead.

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