Budapest 2023: Fans throng Amusan’s training session as AFN pleads for medals
• 100m women’s hurdles begins today
Thousands of fans stormed the Budapest Stadium, yesterday, to cheer world record holder, Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, who started training ahead of her women’s 100m hurdles title defence at the ongoing World Athletics Championships.
Amusan will begin her title defence 6.12p.m.today at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest.
The fans cheered every move Amusan made during her morning training, with some urging her to rise above her recent travails and prove doubters wrong.
The 26-year-old Nigerian was cleared Thursday last week to compete after the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) freed her from a Whereabouts Failures charge.
Amusan has been drawn to run from lane four, just outside Olympics bronze medal winner, Megan Tapper of Jamaica, in the fifth and final heat of the first round.
The reigning Nigeria, African, Commonwealth and Diamond League champion will be seeking to be one of the four automatic qualifiers for the semifinals.
The world record holder will be looking to retain her title to complete a successful defence of all five titles she has won from national, continental and world levels.
At this stage last year, Amusan started her campaign to immortality with a 12.40 seconds African record before smashing the 12.20 world record set by Kendra Harrison in 2016 with an incredible 12.12 seconds run.
She completed her astonishing performance with a historic gold medal in the final, running a wind-aided 12.06 seconds to become the first Nigerian world outdoor champion.
Meanwhile, president of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa, has appealed to Nigerian athletes participating at the ongoing World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, to strive to win medals for the country. Okowa, who spoke at the team’s Park Inn Hotel Radisson camp in Budapest, yesterday, said the athletes have given their best so far in the championships, but appealed to them to put in more effort for Nigerians to celebrate.
“You have done well, but we need medals, even if it is a bronze,” Okowa said. “Getting to the final is good, but it won’t count as medals. So, for those of you who are yet to compete, I appeal to have it at the back of your minds that Nigerians back home are waiting to celebrate medals. You can do it. And for those who have completed their events, I salute you for the efforts you put in. We appreciate you,” Okowa stated.
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