Nigeria’s ‘Golden Girl’ Tobi Amusan Speaks On How She Almost Quit Athletics

World’s record holder in the 100m women’s hurdles, Tobi Amusan, has opened up on how she almost quit athletics after being left out of the women’s relay team at the 2013 Africa Youth Games in Warri, Delta State.

Naija News reports that in an interview with BBC, Tobi said the officials picked their favourites because they had always thought she didn’t have the needed experience.

According to the world champion, the decision of the officials was a huge pressure for a young athlete like her because she was eager to travel with the national team.

She said: “The officials were always picking who they wanted in the relay team. Sometimes they would say I didn’t have the experience so they would pick whoever was their favourite.

“It was a lot of pressure on a young athlete. I considered quitting. I really wanted to travel with the senior national team and some coaches told me to try the hurdles.”

Tobi also stated that she had to overcome doubts and challenges to attain her achievements adding that she had never thought of going to the United States.

She said: “The typical Nigerian approach is to make you feel like you cannot make it. I wasn’t expecting to medal at those Games. There were so many voices saying I couldn’t but I used that to show that I could and that title changed my life.

“That’s how I got a scholarship to the United States. I can say that’s really when my athletics career began. I never dreamt of going to the United States. I just wanted to run fast and be one of the Nigerian greats.

“2019 was tough because I remember running the fastest time in the qualification rounds, around the same time in the semi-finals and the same time in the final.

“I ran so fast but wasn’t fast enough to get a medal. I was broken, I was devastated. That was one of the most horrible experiences.

“I moved on, and then came the Tokyo Olympics. Things just crumbled a month before when I strained my hamstring at practice.”

Tobi Amusan Athletics’ World Record

The 25-year-old track and field athlete made her country proud after becoming the first Nigerian to win a World Athletics Championship gold medal in the women’s 100m hurdles in Eugene, Oregon.

Amusan defeated Jamaica’s Britany Anderson, who ended with Silver in 12.23 seconds and Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico, who settled for bronze in 12.23 seconds.

She had smashed the world record in the semi-final where she clocked 12.12 seconds and powered over the line at Hayward Field in an incredible 12.06 seconds.

According to reports said her winning time, however, will not be recognised as a world record due to a strong following wind of 2.5 metres per second.

This article was originally published on Naija News

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