Nigerians in Budapest and its environs celebrated late into the night Wednesday, as World Record holder in the 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, secured her passage to the final at the ongoing 19th World Athletics Championships.
What a way to lighten up the spirit in the Nigerian camp, which has been so dull since Monday, when World Silver Medalist, Ese Brume narrowly missed a podium finish in the women’s long jump event.
Amusan, who was provisionally suspended last month by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), for Whereabouts Failures but was cleared by a three-man panel of arbitrators, dusted her challengers, including America’s Masai Russell, Hungary’s Luca Kozak, Jamaica’s Ackera Nugent and Australia’s Celeste Mucci to reach the final.
Amusan started off in lane 7, in heat 2, and quickly pulled off from the duo of Nadine Visser of The Netherlands (lane 6), and Cyrena Samba-Mayela of France (lane 8).
With Ackera Nugent of Jamaica leading in 5, Amusan accelerated like a brand new Toyota car to gain more space, which she maintained before she dipped into the finish line. As she anchored at 12.56secs, the entire stadium stood to applaud the Nigerian golden girl. While the Jamaican, Nugent was second in 12.60secs, the American, Russell, did not finish the race as she bumped into the second and third hurdles.
Amusan had begun her title defence with an impressive 12.48 run on Tuesday at the National Athletics Stadium in Budapest, the second-fastest time in the first round.
With the qualification for her third straight final, the Ogun State-born Amusan will now be hoping for lightning to strike twice in Thursday’s final, where she hopes to successfully defend the World title she won at Oregon, United States, last year.
She had defended her success at the Nigerian and African Championships, as well as at the Commonwealth and Diamond Leagues.
After the race, Amusan said; “I am grateful to God. The important thing is getting to the final.