By Ben Efe
Former 100m hurdler, Glory Alozie has said up and coming Tobi Amusan failed to rise to expectations, as the youngster bowed to the pressure of competition at the IAAF World Championships in London, which ended last Sunday with Nigeria missing on the medals table.
Amusan, based in the USA was rated as one of the favourites to reach the podium having ran a season’s and personal best of 12.57 seconds prior to the championships, in which she was making her debut. During the heats she produced 12.97 seconds, but in the semi-final she did 13.04 and crashed out of the final race won by Australian Sally Pearson with 12.59 seconds, Dawn Harper Nelson was second with 12.63 while German Pamela Dutkiewicz placed third with 12.72seconds.
“I wasn’t surprised our girl Tobi failed to make the final. I had a similar experience at the 2004 Olympics in Athens; my 12.62 couldn’t get me into the finals neither!
“Having run so fast before the championship put so much pressure on her, and there was a high expectation from every angle including her rivals. She is just a young athlete who may not know how to handle things.
“But I’m sure that she must have learnt a lot from this championships. I bet if the race is to be run again, she’ll do better than her performance now. In 1997 I couldn’t make the team to Athens 1997 Worlds, so that made me to go home and work harder and I was able to run the fastest time in the world in 1998.
“Let’s give Tobi a little time and everybody will see the good stuff she is made of. Running 12.57sec is not a child’s play over the hurdles. Only a very good and talented athlete can run that fast,” said Alozie who still holds the Africa record with 12.44 seconds achieved in the World Championships 1999 Seville, Spain.