With more of Nigeria’s athletes crashing out of their various events at the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Budapest, all attention is on the World’s Women’s 100metres Hurdles Champion Tobi Amusan, who will begin her title defence on Tuesday, as Nigeria’s hope in raising the Green-white-Green flag up high at the global championships.
Notably, for the first time in her stunning career, Ese Brume, a Bronze medalist in the women’s Long Jump event at Oregon 2022, could not make for a podium finish on Sunday as she finished her event outside the medal range emerging 4th placed after her final jump.
Meanwhile, in their 100m semifinal events on Sunday, Seye Ogunlewe placed 5th in his semifinal race with 10.12 seconds, while Nigeria’s fastest man, Ushoritse Itsehekiri finished 8th in his semifinal with a time of 10.19secs.
Tobi Amusan, World Women’s 100m hurdles champion and record-holder, will be the superstar of all eyes when she takes to the track to begin her title defence on Tuesday at the World Athletics Championships at the National Athletics Centre Budapest, Hungary.
Recall that the Nigerian superstar athlete, Tobi Amusan was suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for alleged violation of an out-of-competition anti-doping test and was cleared to compete last Thursday after a panel of the Disciplinary Tribunal of the World Athletics body that reviewed her appeal freed her by majority decision from a Whereabouts Failures charge.
The 26-year-old, who resumed full training on Monday amid cheers from thousands of fans and admirers, is seeking to successfully defend her title to complete a successful defence of all five titles she has won at national, continental, and world levels, Leadership reports.
She has been drawn to run from lane four, outside Olympics bronze medal winner Megan Tapper of Jamaica, who is in the fifth and final heat of the first round.
The reigning Nigerian, African, Commonwealth and Diamond League champion will be seeking to be one of the four automatic qualifiers for the semifinals.
At this stage last year, 2022, Amusan started her campaign with a 12.40 African record before smashing the 12.20 world record set by Kendra Harrison in 2016 with an incredible 12.12 run.
She completed her astonishing run with a historic gold medal in the final, running a wind-aided 12.06 to become the first Nigerian world outdoor champion.
Speaking at the team’s Park Inn hotel, Radisson, in Budapest, on Monday, the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa, appealed to Nigeria’s athletes to put in more efforts for Nigeria to celebrate a medal in Budapest.
“You have done well, but we need medals, even if it is a bronze,” Okowa said.
“Getting to the finish line is good, but it won’t count as medals. So, for those of you who are yet to compete, I appeal to you to have it at the back of your mind that Nigerians back home are waiting to celebrate medals. You can do it. And for those who have completed, I salute you for the efforts you put in. We appreciate you,” Okowa added.
Notwithstanding, at the Athletes Park Inn Hotel, Radisson, Amusan appreciated the AFN President for the warm visit. However, Okowa encouraged Amusan to put the past behind her and focus her attention on the 100m hurdles event ahead.
“Now, I want you to be there and do your best for the Nigerians who stood by you,” Okowa stated.