African Athletics Championship: Amusan successfully defends 100m hurdles crown
Sprint hurdler Tobiloba Amusan became the fifth woman to successfully defend the 100m hurdles title after she stormed to victory in a wind-aided 12.57s at the ongoing 22nd African Athletics Championship in Mauritius.
Amusan, 25, first won the title four years ago at the 21st edition of the championship and has now become the third Nigerian after Maria Usifo (1984 and 1985) and Glory Alozie (1996, 1998 and 2000) and fifth African to successfully defend the sprint hurdles title.
The reigning African Games champion was however denied the chance to break Alozie’s 12.77s championship record set at the 11th edition of the championship in Dakar, Senegal in 1998 by an excessive 4.0m/s tail wind.
Amusan’s victory has increased Nigeria’s gold medal haul in the event to 12.
Meanwhile, 400m star Patience Okon George qualified for her fourth straight final in the women’s quarter mile event after running 53.24s to win her semifinal heat.
George, 30, will be hoping to strike gold this time around after winning bronze in 2014, 2016 and return to Nigeria as African champion eight years after Folasade Abugan ran 51.21s to win at the 19th edition of the championship in Marrakech, Morocco to become the seventh Nigerian to win gold in the history of the championship.
In the men’s version, the trio of Sikiru Adeyemi, Nathaniel Samson, and Johnson Nnamani failed to advance to the final thereby extending Nigeria’s wait to get an African champion 24 years after Clement Chukwu won the gold medal in Dakar, Senegal.