Almost a year ago to the day, at the Tokyo Olympics, Tobi Amusan finished the women’s 100 meter hurdles medal race in arguably the worst place you can finish at a major track and field event. : fourth.
But on Sunday in the final session of the 2022 World Championships in Athletics, Amusan, a Nigerian who was NCAA champion at Texas-El Paso, had the night of her life.
Running in the first of three semi-finals, Amusan stunned crowds and track fans alike clocking 12.12 seconds, breaking the world record of 12.20 set by American Kendra Harrison six years ago.
The finals took place less than two hours later, and although the world record was excellent, Amusan and the seven other women in the hurdles final were there to win gold.
If Amusan was overwhelmed or mentally preoccupied with her sensational semi-final, you certainly couldn’t tell in the final: running very close to American Alia Armstrong and Jamaican Britany Anderson over the first four hurdles, Amusan started to sprint. away after fifth and held it down for the world championship win.
His time of 12.06 seconds was another absolutely incredible time, but as the wind gauge during the race read +2.5 meters per second, it will not be considered the official world record; only wind readings +2.0 or less are official.
Amusan is the first man or woman from Nigeria to win gold at Worlds.
The silver and bronze medals were decided to the nearest thousandth of a second: Anderson retained the silver medal in 12.224 and Puerto Rican Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, gold medalist in Tokyo, won the bronze in 12.229.
When she crossed the finish line in the semi-finals, Amusan couldn’t believe what she saw on the giant clock at the edge of the track, frozen at 12:12. His hands were spread apart, his mouth was wide open. After a few seconds, she started screaming and kissed Jamaican Danielle Williams.
The three half-races were brilliant at all levels: of the 24 women who participated, there were four national records and seven other women achieved lifetime records in addition to Amusan’s world mark.
While the United States was left out of the 100m hurdles medals, the Americans were not left out of the evening.
Athing Mu, 20, from New Jersey, became the first American to win world gold in the 800 meters, edging out Briton Keely Hodgkinson. Mu’s time was 1:56.30 to 1:56.38 for Hodgkinson. Kenya’s Mary Moraa won bronze in 1:56.71.
Mu was also a gold medalist at last year’s Summer Olympics.
The US, won the final two races of the competition, the men’s and women’s 4×400-metre relays. The men – Elijah Godwin, Michael Norman, Bryce Deadmon and Champion Allison – took over in 2:56.17, one of the fastest times in history.
On the women’s side, Talitha Diggs, Abby Steiner, Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin won gold, posting a time of 3:17.79, also one of the fastest times of all time. McLaughlin’s anchor leg was an unreal time of 47.91 seconds even though he wasn’t really pushing; the United States won by nearly three full seconds.
Since competing in the preliminary round on Saturday, legend Allyson Felix will also get a gold medal, even giving her 20 world medals for her career.
Although the women’s relay was the last running event of the competition, the men’s pole vault was not over. Mondo Duplantis, the Louisiana-born prodigy who competes for his mother’s home country of Sweden, had already clinched the gold medal but had the bar set at 6.21 meters (20ft, 4.5in) , which would increase the world record he already holds. over two years.
Duplantis didn’t make it on the first try, but a second he sailed over the bar with plenty to spare, sparking a celebration from the crowd and the young superstar, who jumped off the landing pads, jumped a few not on the track and then did a forward somersault.
With the three gold medals on Sunday night as well as a silver in the pole vault from Christopher Nilsen and a bronze in the decathlon from Zach Ziemek, the United States finished the Worlds with 33 medals, the most number ever won by a single country in nearly 40 years of history.