Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan stunned the athletics world by TWICE breaking the women’s 100m hurdles world record in back-to-back events, although excessive wind speeds meant her second time was subsequently disqualified.
In the final leg of the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore., Amusan produced one of the great individual performances of the tournament – if not the history of athletics.
First, she won her semi-final in 12.12 seconds, smashing the previous best of 12.20 set by American Kendra Harrison in 2016.
Amusen then blew away her rivals in the final to win the gold medal – her country’s first ever – in a stunning 12.06s. However, five minutes later the wind reading for the final was revealed to be +2.5m/s, which is well above the 2m per second limit, meaning the second run does not count as a world record.
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Commentator Tim Hutchings was in awe as he exclaimed: “I can’t believe it, she’s done it again. Two world records in one night and she made history by becoming Nigeria’s first world champion. What a way to do it and what a stage to discover sporting immortality. Records can be broken, titles stand the test of time, and tonight she did both – two world records. 12.06, tonight will never, ever be forgotten by anyone lucky enough to be here.
“That was absolutely extraordinary. We doubted she could do it again, how dare we, how dare we. Nigeria, a proud African nation, is on top of the world tonight. And Amusan brought an evening of unprecedented glory and speed. That was absolutely, absolutely incredible.”
Amusan had already broken the African record when she won her heat the day before in just 12.40s, the fastest first round time in World Championships history. However, she took it to another level in the final to destroy her opponents – despite having the third slowest reaction time of any runner in the final.
Jamaica’s Britany Anderson finished second in 12.23s ahead of Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, also 12.23s.
Former world record holder Harrison finished second in the same semi-final where Amusan broke the record for the first time, finishing second in 12.27s. Remarkably, this time was already faster than the previous championship record of 12.28s set in 2011 said Australia’s Sally Pearson.
Commentator Tim Hutchings said after the semi-final: “12.12 – that’s amazing. I can’t believe what I’m seeing right now. That’s a huge, massive world record. He looks at the clock to see if it was a mistake, but it wasn’t, it was confirmed. A massive, massive world record in the semi-finals.
“Tobi Amusan just electrified the stadium. It was an incredible run, but we didn’t think it was that good. How on earth is she going to focus on winning a gold medal after setting a world record? Absolutely surprising.”
Gail Devers added: “Yesterday when she ran her first race she said it was so hard for her to slow down because people were wondering why she ran 12:40. But when you’re on fire, it’s hard to slow down. She didn’t expect to run 12.12 but you saw her mechanics, she kept running. What she did so well is get a lead leg and run away. That was a clinic in how you run the 100m hurdles.’
In the same event, Australia’s Michelle Jenneke broke her previous best of 12.82s when she finished fifth in 12.66s, although this was not enough to qualify for the final.
She had already run her fastest time in seven years in her heat – since 2015, the same year as her previous PB. But in the semi-final she went one better, destroying her best time to date and clearly thrilled about it.
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