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Amusan predicted she’ll break world record, Jamaica’s Williams reveals

By Christian Okpara
26 July 2022   |   4:15 am
Jamaica’s Danielle Williams, who finished third in the 100 metres semifinals, in which new world champion, Tobi Amusan, set a new world record, has revealed that the Nigerian knew she would set a new mark even before the championship began in Eugene, Oregon, United States.

Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images

• ‘She was close to quitting on two occasions’
• Usain Bolt celebrates magnificent Nigerian

Jamaica’s Danielle Williams, who finished third in the 100 metres semifinals, in which new world champion, Tobi Amusan, set a new world record, has revealed that the Nigerian knew she would set a new mark even before the championship began in Eugene, Oregon, United States.

Amusan ran a blistering race in the 100 metres women semifinals to smash the existing record with a time of 12.12 seconds. She came back 90 minutes later to further change the hand of the clock in the final, running 12.6 seconds to win Nigeria’s first World Championship gold medal.

Her final time of 12.6 seconds was, however, not recognised as a world record because ‘it was wind assisted.’

That notwithstanding, her performance in Oregon left her friends and foes waxing lyrical about her.

Reacting to Amusan’s feat, Williams, a former world champion, who could not make the podium in Oregon, said: “I ran the greatest race of my life and so, if I don’t make the final, I am satisfied because I know I gave the best I had today.

“The race was wicked. Tobi literally spoke it into existence. Just last night, I was watching on Shanice’s Instagram … they have a wall that says ‘only the best of athletes’ and on Shanice’s page I saw a little snippet of what Tobi wrote: “Incoming world record holder.’

“To see it unfold today is amazing. I am proud of Tobi. Definitely, she can speak things into existence.”

Williams said Amusan’s feat was a reward for hard work and perseverance after so many heartbreaking moments in her career.

“Tobi is one of my closest friends in the circuit. She was frustrated when she finished fourth in Doha and Olympics in Japan and almost quit the sport. It was terrible for her.

“Her performance today is an inspiration for me because it is not easy to come out strong after all she had gone through. To see her do this now is amazing,” she said.

Also balled by Amusan’s performance in Oregon is 100m and 200m men’s world record holder, Usain Bolt, who knows how it feels to be on top of the world.

Bolt first broke the sprint world records at the Olympics in Beijing, China and rewrote the books again in 2009 and so, he knows what it takes to achieve such feats.

After Amusan’s world record-breaking race in the semifinals, Bolt tweeted with emoji of Nigerian flag: “Congrats.”

After the finals, where Amusan further lowered the record, albeit deemed to be wind aided, the world’s former fastest man wrote: “Superb #Tobi.”

Apart from writing her name in World Athletics’ record books, Amusan also ended the championship $100, 000 richer.

The 25-year-old, who finished fourth at last year’s Olympics, held her arms out in amazement when she saw the time flash, then threw them to the heavens before sharing a hug with Williams.

Amusan broke the six-year-old record of 12.20 seconds held by Keni Harrison, who was in the same heat and finished second.

In 2016, Harrison also broke the record under unusual circumstances — in London, a week before the Olympics started after she had failed to qualify for the U.S. team heading to Rio de Janeiro.

Amusan’s record came on the opening race of an evening session expected to be headlined by the Americans. The U.S. came into the evening with 28 medals and needed three to break the world championships record. Races on the schedule included the men’s and women’s 4×400 relays and the women’s 800 metres, all of which the US had a good chance to win.

Amusan’s was the second world record broken at the championships. Two days earlier, American Sydney McLaughlin ran 50.68 to break her own mark in the women’s 400 hurdles.