Nigerian Tobi Amusan produced a stunning performance on the final day of the World Athletics Championships on Sunday to win gold in the women’s 100m hurdles.
Amusan twice shattered the world record, first clocking 12.12 seconds in the semifinal, then 12.06 seconds in the final to capture the world title. However, her record in the final was deemed ineligible due to the 25-year-old’s run being judged to be heavily wind-assisted.
Amusan, who finished fourth in the 100m hurdles final at the 2019 World Championships in Doha and last year’s Tokyo Olympics, had previously also set an African record of 12.40 in the heats on Saturday.
Jamaica’s Britany Anderson came in second in 12.23 edging out Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico by just five thousandths of a second.
Though Amusan had given a glimpse into what she could achieve, she later admitted that she was not expecting to set a world record at the championships.
“It’s a dream come true. I knew I had it in me but I could not believe it when I saw it on the screen after the semis. But it was just a matter of time,” Amusan told the World Athletics media team.
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Africa’s heavyweights in the men’s 5,000m as most of the pre-favourites gave a limp performance in a race won by Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen in 13:09.24. Kenya’s Jacob Krop and Ugandan Oscar Chelimo finished second and third, respectively, in 13:09.98 and 13:10.20.
The main favorite, world record-holder Joshua Cheptegei finished ninth in 13:13.12 while Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega of Ethiopia came in 12th and two-time defending champion Muktar Edris was 13th.
Cheptegei had been bidding to become just the third man in history, after Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele and Great Britain’s Mo Farah, to do a long-distance double – 5,000m and 10,000m – at the World Athletics Championships.
Elsewhere, Mary Moraa of Kenya won bronze in the women’s 800m in a personal best of 1:56.71 behind U.S.’s Athing Mu and Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain.
Ethiopia finished second in the overall medal table, behind the U.S. (33), with 10 medals – four gold, four silver and two bronze -22 while Kenya was fourth with a similar total medal haul – two gold, five silver and three bronze.
(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)