Tobi Amusan Faces Tough Field in Quest to Retain Gold in Budapest 

Tobi Amusan Faces Tough Field in Quest to Retain Gold in Budapest 

Duro Ikhazuagbe 

Tobi Amusan will definitely be under pressure this evening 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.

Last night, the petit Nigerian sprint hurdler, battled to win her semi final race in 12.56secs. It is perhaps, the slowest time posted by Amusan this season. That 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 today’s final, Amusan may not have such luxury if she again fails to react same time with the American girl Kendra Harrison she snatched the World Record from last year. Harrison is hot now and in the form of her life. 

So far, she sits at the top of the pile of favorites for the precious gold medal.

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.

Apart from Harrison, the 2021 Olympic champion from Puerto Rico, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, has also not given up hope to return to the top of the World. She has  a PB of 12.26 and a Season Best of 12.31 that places her amongst contenders for the gold medal at Budapest 2023. Also in the reckoning for podium placements is the duo of 2019 World champion, American Nia Ali and 2017 winner, Danielle Williams of Jamaica. Ali has a SB of 12.30 while Williams is also 12.50, a far cry fro her PB of 12.32.

Outside these favorites, nobody should rule out Nugent and Bahamas girl, Devynne Charlton. It is a loaded field that may swing in any direction in any of the top contenders have a bad day in the office. 

Oregon 2022 has removed dark horse tag from Amusan. Whether she will be able to shake off the psychological stress inflicted on her by AIU  and retain the gold, remains to be seen as all the best  nine sprint hurdlers in the world look forward to the final this evening in Budapest.

But something track & field followers have not failed to notice is the current form of Harrison. If she repeats the form that gave her the 12.24 world lead in the first round heat again this night, Amusan may become history.

Related Articles