By: Peter Akinbo.
World women’s 100m hurdles record holder, Tobi Amusan, says the track in Eugene, Oregon holds a special place in her heart and her list of conquests.
The Nigerian wrapped up her season on an outstanding and record-breaking note by clinching the Wanda Diamond League title for the third consecutive year on Sunday night on the track she has come to affectionately call her own.
The 26-year-old posted an impressive performance in the 100m hurdles event at the Oregon Diamond League despite facing tough competition from Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Kendra Harrison, Danielle Williams, Nia Ali, Tia Jones and Megan Tapper.
Amusan started off strong and maintained her lead, clearing the final hurdle and finishing with an impressive season best time of 12.33secs. Camacho-Quinn from Puerto Rico gave a strong chase, coming in second in 12.38secs, while USA’s Harrison took third place in a time of 12.44secs.
The world champion, Jamaica’s Williams, finished fourth in 12.47secs.
This remarkable victory marked Amusan’s third consecutive Diamond League title, making her only the second woman in Diamond League history to achieve a hat-trick of 100m hurdles titles.
The Nigerian athlete accomplished this feat on the same track in Oregon, where she had won the World Championship the previous year and set the current world record of 12.12secs.
After the race, an elated Amusan said, “I came out here and said it’s my race to lose, and I will give my all. I said it’s 200 or nothing because, 100 per cent, I am not winning today (Sunday). So, I came out here, and I told God to give me the strength.
“I said this (racing in Eugene) is God’s track. I came here, I’m like ‘This is my track; I’m going to dominate’ and God did just that.”
Amusan expressed gratitude to God, dedicating her win to her coach, her family, her fans and everyone who had supported her throughout the challenging year.
“Right now, I just want to rest. I’m just grateful to God; that’s all I can say this season. This win is not about me; it’s for my coach, my family, and everyone who supported me throughout this year. It’s been a rough one, and I’m just thankful,” she said.
The record-setting victory provided a glorious end to the season for Amusan, who had experienced disappointment after failing to defend her world title at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in August.