EUGENE — In one of the most competitively stacked fields in the entire World Athletics Championships, Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan first set a world record, then followed it up by winning gold.
Amusan won the first semifinal heat of the women’s 100-meter hurdles in 12.12 seconds Sunday at Hayward Field, topping American Kendra Harrison, the previous world record-holder, in the process.
Amusan shaved 0.08 seconds off Harrison’s world record from 2016.Then in the final Sunday night, Amusan finished in a wind-aided 12.06 to win Nigeria’s first ever gold at the world championships against a field that included seven of the top 10 women in the world.It was a strong field,” Amusan said.
“I looked at the heat sheet, I’m like, ‘Oh, who did that?’ I spoke to my coach and she told me to relax and execute and I did just that. … I just said to myself that this is another round; I’m not going to pressure myself with my finals status. Knowing that I’m competing against the best in the world, I need to keep my composure and execute and focus on my lane, and I did just that.”
It’s the first world record set by a Nigerian woman and the fourth time in the event’s history that the record was beaten in a heat or semifinal round, with the last coming 36 years ago.
It’s the first ever medal for Amusan, who finished fourth at both the Tokyo Olympics and 2019 world championships in Qatar.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” she said.
“I’ve come into every championship coming in fourth. Coming out on top of the podium, it’s amazing.”
Jamaica’s Britany Anderson edged Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, 12.224 to 12.229, for silver.