Despite failing to successfully defend her world title at the 19th World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, stakeholders, and former athletes are certain that dethroned women’s 100m hurdles world champion Tobi Amusan can recover more quickly.
Danielle Williams of Jamaica defeated Amusan for the women’s 100-meter hurdles title on Thursday (August 24, 2023) after Amusan finished sixth.
The Nigerian was only permitted to compete two days prior to the World Championships in Budapest after being briefly suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit in July for failing three whereabouts tests.
Amusan was saddened by the temporary suspension, according to retired sprinter and bronze medalist Deji Aliu.
Aliu, said, “We all know what she went through before she was cleared to race at the World Championships, and qualifying for the final shows her class as a true champion.
“She went through enormous stress before and during the World Championships and what she needs now is massive support to help her prepare well for the Olympics. I believe she will get back to her best and make our country proud again.”
Sunday Adeleye, a former technical director for the Nigerian Athletics Federation, believes that Amusan would recover from the setback in Hungary.
“It was going to be very tough for her defending her crown,” Adeleye said.
“But we believe she will get back to her best, that’s certain, but she needs all the support to bounce back and be better than her past.
“When Sha’Carri Richardson tested positive for marijuana, the wife of the former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, Michelle, stood by her and I’m glad that our own First Lady (Oluremi Tunibu) has supported her in the same vein.
“She is the only world champion and world record holder Nigeria has and the country must not allow her derail any further.”
In the same vein, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnian Herzegovina, Modupe Irele, tipped Amusan to surpass her own world record.
She said, “Your world record is still intact because it has not been broken. There must be something you are taking home from this championships as learning points.
“Each game is different, and as you go back home, hold your head high. As for your world record, and other athletes holding different records, I pray that you will be the one to break your own records.”
Amusan at her own end, assured Nigerians of a better outing at the 2024 Olympics Games in Paris.
She said, “We came to Budapest to give our best, we actually did, but the results may not be the best. Paris 2024 Olympics Games will surely be different.
“I thank the government and people of Nigeria for the support given to athletics. As I said, there are many Games ahead, and we will do our best to put smiles on the faces of our people.”
At the Diamond League in Oregon, USA, next month, the 26-year-old will now be attempting to defend her championship for the second consecutive season.
With just one race remaining (Zurich) before the final in Oregon on September 16 and 17, she is tied for first place with Nia Ali in the Diamond League standings.
Amusan earned 23 points, the same as Ali, who has participated in the competition four times, by coming in second place behind Jasmine Camacho-Quin in Lausanne, Switzerland, and winning in Stockholm and Silesia.