Summer 2024

Nigeria's Tobi Amusan exclaims 'God did that!' after setting world record in women's 100m hurdles

The 2022 Track and Field World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, had already seen a world record fall two days before, and on Sunday, Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan delivered another one. The 25-year-old’s unforgettable record-setting performance in the women’s 100-meter hurdles helped secure her first ever global gold medal and the first ever for Nigeria at the world championships.

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Amusan’s semifinal race saw her set a new world record with a time of 12.12 seconds, besting the previous record of 12.20 seconds set by American Kendra Harrison in 2016. Less than two hours later in the final, with Harrison in the lane beside her, Amusan ran an even better time (12.06), but the high in-race wind speed was higher than the allowable limit. Thus, she claimed the gold medal but the world record stayed at 12.12.

Mere moments after her gold medal-winning race, Amusan looked into the camera while sporting a cross necklace and yelled, “God did that!” Then during her post-race interview, she made sure to credit God time and time again for her historic performance.

“I’m elated,” a smiling Amusan said. “It’s been a journey and I’m thankful to God for keeping me healthy. And I couldn’t be more thankful to have come out of here with the win and the world record. It’s crazy! It’s crazy.”

She continued later, “I came out and trusted my hard work and trusted that God is in control.”

Born in Nigeria, Amusan discovered her abilities as a hurdler during her teenage years and honed them for years at African competitions. American universities soon noticed, and in 2016 the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) offered Amusan a track scholarship. As she continued to improve, she won gold medals at the African Championships (2018), the All-Africa Games (2015, 2019) and the Commonwealth Games (2018).

Yet when it came to global competitions like the world championships or the Olympics, she always fell just short of the podium. Fourth-place finishes at the 2019 World Championships and last year’s Tokyo Olympics left her craving a medal more than ever.

On Sunday, Amusan broke through in a big way.

“I’ve been that ‘almost girl’ at every championship,” she said in the post-race interview, “and finally I can say, ‘God did it.'”

Amusan is very vocal about her faith in interviews and on social media. On Monday morning, she wrote on Facebook, “I never doubted God. I believed in my Coach, my training program and I knew it’s MY TIME and MY TURN.”

Amusan’s full first name is “Oluwatobiloba,” which means “God is a great king” in the Yoruba language. Amusan has consistently testified to that truth, giving all glory to Him, and now as a world record holder, she’s thrilled to put her faith on display for the world to see.

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