Despite travails, Tobi Amusan is ranked second in the World in 100m hurdle

Team Nigeria hurdler Tobi Amusan is ranked the second best 100m hurdler in the world in 2023 by the World Athletics, the governing body of athletics in the world.

Amusan amassed 1434 points to rank second to Puerto Rico Jasmine Camacho-Quinn is world number one with 1450 points.

Considering what she went through the season with the Athletics Integrity Unit and World Athletics over missed tests Amusan ranking is highly commendable.

American Kendra Harrison  is third with 1428 points; Danielle Williams from Jamaica is fourth with 1416 points. Another American, Nia Ali, is fifth with 1385 points.

Amusan is also one of the major winners of 2023 as she won the Wanda Diamond League in 12.33 according to a ranking released by the World Athletics.

Other major winners are:

World Championships: Danielle Williams of Jamaica 12.43, Asian Championships: Jyothi Yarraji India 13.08, South American Championships: Caroline Tomaz of Brazil 13.26, Pan-American Games: Andrea Vargas 13.06 and Asian Games: Lin Yuwei 12.74.

The 2023 season was a year of great comeback for Jamaican Williams. Eight years after earning a surprise world title in Beijing, ahead of opponents with faster records, Williams of Jamaica did it again in Budapest.

At the age of 22, Williams had taken gold in the Chinese capital in a then personal best of 12.57, which placed her eighth on that year’s world list; in 2023 a season’s best of 12.43 did the trick again, placing her joint-ninth on this year’s list.

The 30-year-old from St Andrew demonstrated her status as a championship racer again as she defeated a field that included the Olympic champion, Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico, the defending champion and world record-holder Amusan of Nigeria, the 2019 world champion Ali and the former world record-holder Harrison, both of the United States.

Camacho-Quinn had begun the season in top form, winning at the Wanda Diamond League meetings in Doha and Lausanne, with Amusan then taking the honours in Stockholm and Silesia before Ali earned the victory in Monaco in a world lead of 12.30.

Williams was hardly talking her chances up beforehand, commenting that she had been racing her rivals all year “and they have been kicking me left, right and centre.”

Soon enough, however, the boot was on the other foot. First, though, there was a big marker laid down by Harrison, whose 12.20 in 2016 was a world record for six years. She stormed the heats with a 12.24, which replaced Ali’s world lead – and remained in place until the end of the season. The 30-year-old from Tennessee also topped the semi-finals with 12.33, as Camacho-Quinn recorded 12.41.

Quickest out in the final – despite clattering the first hurdle – was world indoor silver medallist Devynne Charlton of The Bahamas, who had set a national record of 12.44 in the heats.

But as Camacho-Quinn and Harrison gave chase, Williams was making serious gains in lane two, drawing level with the Bahamian by the fifth hurdle and taking a clear lead by the seventh.

Camacho-Quinn and Harrison finished strongly, with the former being involved in a photo finish with Williams which gave gold to the latter.

The Olympic champion, a silver medallist at the previous year’s World Championships, was 0.01 slower, with Harrison claiming bronze in 12.46, with Charlton finishing fourth in 12.52.

As Williams saw her name flash up first, she screamed and sprinted away in celebration.

“I knew it was going to be tough. I came out here knowing that I could win, but I would have to give everything I had. I still don't believe I won against such a stellar field,” said Williams.

“When I won in 2015 it was unbelievable, but this took a lot of hard work, a lot of years of toil and injuries, and losing my confidence and battling to get back to this stage.”

Suitably inspired, Williams won her first Diamond League race of the season, clocking 12.54 in Zurich.

The Wanda Diamond League Final was won by Amusan in 12.33.

Courtesy: Facebook | News In Naija
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