Tobi Amusan, the world record holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, won her heat at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals.
Amusan, who was competing for the first time since being cleared of alleged anti-doping violations by a World Athletics panel formed to review her suspension by the Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU), was the center of attention at Budapest’s National Athletics Stadium.
The Ogun State-born Amusan did not disappoint the fans, finishing the race in 12.48 seconds ahead of her competitors and earning a spot in the semifinals.
In the fifth and final heat of the first round, Amusan began her defense of her world title from lane four, outside Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper of Jamaica.
The reigning Nigeria, African, Commonwealth and Diamond League champion is seeking to successfully defend her title and retain all five crowns.
According to The Guardian reports; the United States had dispatched a top sports psychologist to Team Nigeria’s camp to work on Amusan, with a view to erasing the trauma of her recent suspension by the AIU.
Meanwhile, former Ogun State Sports Commissioner, Bukola Olopade, arrived in Budapest on Monday morning with the sole aim of cheering Amusan to victory in defence of her title.
Olopade is in Budapest as guest of World Athletics in recognition of his contributions to sports as an organiser of marathon races in Nigeria.
Olopade, who was recently named as chairman of Ogun 2024 National Sports Festival, is the brain behind the Access Bank-sponsored Lagos City Marathon, Abeokuta 10km Race and Remo Ultra Race.
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He was at the Budapest Athletics Stadium on Monday evening to witness the historic women’s 100m final, won by American sprinter, Richardson.
“First, I thank World Athletics for the recognition given to me to be part of this championships in Budapest. It will be a big excitement for me to see Amusan retain her world title on Wednesday. I will be at the stadium this afternoon to cheer her and other Nigerian athletes.
“The AFN under Tonobok Okowa has done so much for Nigerian athletics, and I think the federation deserves accolades. I will be happy if Nigeria gets a medal here in Budapest,” Olopade stated