Athletics world championships stunned by 'utterly astonishing' act

·6-min read
Pictured right, Tobi Amusan smashes the world record in the semi-finals of the women's 100m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships.
Tobi Amusan smashed the world record in the semi-finals before storming home to claim gold in the women's 100m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships. Pic: Getty/BeIN Sports

Nigerian runner Tobi Amusan has left commentators, fans and even herself in disbelief after an extraordinary world record at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Amusan smashed the women's 100m hurdles world record with a scorching time of 12.12 seconds in the semi-finals, before storming home to win gold in the final.

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Getting out of the blocks quickly in her semi, Amusan shot to the front and never looked like being run down as she lowered the previous best mark of 12.20 set by American Kendra Harrison in London six years ago.

For a moment it looked like the Nigerian had broken the world mark twice in the space of two hours, but her winning time of 12.06 in the final was achieved with aid of an illegal 2.5 per second headwind.

Britany Anderson broke the Jamaican record twice in one day to claim the silver medal and reigning Olympic champ Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of the United States was third, with both minor medallists clocking 12.23.

In a promising sign ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games, Australia's Michelle Jenneke smashed her own personal best to finish fifth in the same race.

Jenneke's 12.66 saw her move into second on the national all-time list, however, the 29-year-old failed to qualify for the final.

The standard in the three semis in Eugene was remarkable and has major implications for the Commonwealth Games.

Amusan, Jamaican duo Britany Anderson (12.31) and Danielle Williams (12.41), Devynne Charlton from the Bahamas (12.46) and Britain's Cindy Sember (12.50) are all scheduled to compete in Birmingham alongside Jenneke.

Joining US 400m hurdles queen Sydney McLaughlin as the only two athletes to break world records at the world championships, Amusan was beside herself after her amazing semi-final effort.

Blistering time leaves athletics viewers in disbelief

The Nigerian runner was not the only one left in shock though, with commentators and fans reacting to the mind-blowing feat.

“12.12 – that is astonishing. I can hardly believe what I’m seeing. That is a massive, massive world record," commentator Tim Hutchings declared.

"She’s looking at the clock to see if it was a mistake, but it wasn’t, it’s been confirmed. A massive, massive world record in the semi-final.

“Tobi Amusan has just electrified the stadium. It was an incredible run but we didn’t think it was that good. How on earth does she focus on winning the gold medal after storming to a world record. Utterly astonishing.”

Pictured right, Nigeria's Tobi Amusan wins gold in the women's 100m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.
Nigeria's Tobi Amusan (R) won gold in the women's 100m hurdles after breaking the world record in the semi-finals at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon. Pic: Getty

Fellow commentator and US legend Gail Devers added: “Yesterday when she ran her first heat, she was saying it was so hard for her to slow down because people were wondering why she ran 12.40. But when you’re on fire it is hard to slow down.

"She didn’t expect to run the 12.12 but you saw her mechanics, she kept running. What she did so well is she got her lead leg down and she ran away. That was a clinic in how you run the 100-metre hurdles.”

While many echoed those sentiments, others such as US legend and four-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson questioned whether something was amiss with some of the times being recorded.

“I don’t believe 100h times are correct. World record broken by .08!” Johnson tweeted.

“Twelve PBs set. Five national records set. And Cindy Sember quote after her PB/NR: ‘I thought I was running slow!’ All athletes looked shocked.

“Heat 2 we were first shown winning time of 12.53. Few seconds later it shows 12.43. Rounding down by .01 is normal. .10 is not.”

with agencies

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