By Adegboyega Adeleye

World Champion, Oluwatobiloba Ayomide Amusan on Thursday wrapped up her record-breaking year in style as she broke Gail Devers’ 22-year-old meeting record to defend the Diamond League 100mH title in a winning time of 12.29secs.

The Diamond League title adds to the plethora of records and titles achieved by the Hurdles queen in 2022 including the World Record, Commonwealth Games Record, African Record, World Championship, Commonwealth, and Africa Championship titles.

The 25-year-old, Nigerian is no stranger to breaking records – her world record of 12.12 was set in the semifinals at the World Championships in Oregon, where she went on to win gold, and her 2022 Commonwealth title was gained in a Games record.

This time, she broke another long-standing record by running 12.29 to take a tenth of a second off the mark to defend her Diamond league title and broke the meeting record that had been set by USA’s multiple Olympic and world gold medallist Gail Devers in 2000.

The Nigerian ran three of the five fastest times in the 100m Hurdles this season and seven out of her all-time personal top 10 records were all achieved in 2022.

“Everyone has doubted me. I just had to prove myself, that I have got it,” said Amusan, who also won the African title this year. “I am just so thankful for all of this season. I am full of emotions. Now, vacation, rest, and then back to practice.”

She continued, “I was scared getting on that line but I just had to keep my calm like when you say on your marks, you know it’s show time, so I am just thankful to have come out here and get the win”

“No pressures, It was more of proving myself that I broke the world record and I can do it over and over, it is not just a one-time thing, even though after the world championships it took a toll on me to get back to my rhythm but with enough rest, I was able to bounce back and I am thankful”.

Nigeria’s world record-holder Amusan capped a sensational season by adding the Diamond Trophy to her ever-expanding prize cabinet, beating a highly competitive field in a thrilling 100m hurdles final.

The phenomenon showed resilience and put up a brilliant spectacle again in Zurich as she convincingly took down Gail Devers’ long-standing 22-year-old Meeting Record (MR) of 12.39s by one-tenth of a second, to set a new MR of 12.29 and running against a negative wind of (-0.3m/s) .

Tobi Amusan began her historic run on the track last year. On September 9th, 2021, she became the first Nigerian and first African Hurdler to win the Diamond League trophy in 12.42 seconds where she broke her ever-yearning Glory Alozie’s AR of 12.44s and set a new African record of 12.42s. She is now the first Nigerian athlete to win two Diamond League trophies.

The World Record Holder successfully defended her 100m Hurdles Diamond League title for the second consecutive season in style and set a new meeting record of 12.29secs (Amusan’s second ever winning time after her World Record of 12.12s at the World Championships).

Last year’s feat was incredible and it was not surprising that the World Champion returned to the city of Zurich, aiming to achieve another feat, and even had the same hairstyle as she had last year, which ended up being a positive sign for her.

Tobi Amusan blazed past several challengers in the race. In a field featuring a whole host of other global medallists, The World Champion/World Record Holder beat a highly competitive field in a thrilling 100m hurdles final.

Her challengers, 22-year-old Tia Jones, the 2018 world U20 champion, Tia Jones of USA came second in 12.40s and secured the second fastest time of her career, Jamaica’s world silver medallist, Britany Anderson finished third in 12.42s while Puerto Rico’s Olympic champion, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn finished a distant 4th in 12.49s.

Wanda Diamond League Next Meeting- 29 April 2023.

Timeline (Key Moments of Tobi Amusan’s 2022 Season)

2022 has been a stellar year for Tobi Amusan, especially the last four months which have been the best of her career.

In June, she set a new African Record in the Paris Meeting and broke her own record at the World Championships. She won the Nigerian title, and defended the African title in Mauritius.

In July, She won the World Continental Tour Gold Medal and became World Champion & World Record holder.

In August, She retained the Commonwealth Games title and set a new Games record.

And now in September, She defends the Diamond League trophy and set a new meeting record.

Here is a comprehensive breakdown of Tobi “Express” Amusan’s stellar and record-breaking 2022 season.

  • Key Events/ Championships

June 2022

9th June 2022- African Championships Gold Medal(100mH, 4X100m relay)

  • She won gold in the 100m hurdles at the 2022 African Championships in Mauritius, defending her title successfully with a time of 12.57s ( +2.5 wind-aided).
  • She also competed in the women’s 4×100m and won gold.

18th June 2022- Won the 2022 Diamond League event in Paris, where she set an African record by 0.01s with a time of 12.41s(-0.4)

25th June 2022- All Nigerian Athletics Championship

Venue- Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Edo, Nigeria

-Tobi Amusan retained her national title and also set a new Championship Record (CR) of 12.54secs, before breaking Angela Atede’s former CR of 12.63s set in 1997 in Lagos.

Final: Time- 12.54secs (-0.4) Wind

July 2022

World Continental Tour Gold Medal

  • She emerged as the winner in the 100m hurdles event at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold in Finland running a season-best time of 12.57s to see off Jamaica’s Britany Anderson (12.59s) on the line.

World Record- 12.12secs, World Championship Gold Medal

-Tobi Amusan ran a time of 12.12 seconds – shaving almost a tenth of a second off the previous world record – in the semi-finals of the World Championships in Oregon before going on to win gold in the final.

  • The 25-year-old became the first Nigerian ever to win gold at the World Athletics
    Championships after racing to a stunning world record time of 12.06s(Unfortunately it was not recorded as it was wind-aided). It was the second time Amusan would break the record on the night, improving on her 12.12s in the semi-final; previously set by America’s Kendra Harrison’s at 12.20s.
  • From ‘almost’ to ‘most-precious’, She became the first-ever Nigerian world champion, and tears of joy rolled out from her eyes as the National anthem was played for the first time in history of to celebrate the gold medal of a World Athletics Champion.

Commonwealth Gold Medal(100mH, 4X100m relay), Games Record

-Tobi Amusan ran a Games record of 12.30s to defend her Commonwealth title and set other records.

  • She did not only defend her title successfully, she also took down Brigitte Foster-Hylton’s longstanding Games Record of 12.65s, shaving off more than three-tenths of a second to run a new record of 12.30s (-0.2).
  • Amusan also became the first World Champion to win Gold in the event and the first Nigerian athlete ever, dead or alive to be crowned champion at all levels of athletics in the same year.
  • By winning back-to-back Gold medals, Amusan became the first Nigerian Track and Field athlete to successfully defend her Commonwealth title, joining Odunayo Adekuoroye (Nigerian wrestler) as the only two athletes to do so.
  • The women’s 4x100m quartet of Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha, claimed gold in record-breaking fashion, finishing in 42.10secs to break the 42.22secs African record they set World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.

ISTAF 2022, Olympiastadion, Berlin (Won)

Before the Diamond League final, Tobi Amusan breezed to an easy win in women’s 100m Hurdles at ISTAF Berlin, winning by more than one-tenth over her closest challenger. Tobi Amusan of Nigeria clocked 12.45s (-0.3) with Tia Jones of USA 2nd in 12.58s & Megan Tappe of Jamacia 3rd in 12.66s

She said, “I tried as much as possible to stay calm and execute my race and it went down pretty good”

Timeline (2022 Wanda Diamond League Season)

13 MAY 2022 Ooredoo Doha Meeting, Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar – 2nd

Time- 12.44secs (+3.8) Wind

18 JUN 2022 Meeting de Paris, Stade Charléty, Paris, France- 1st

Time- 12.41secs (-0.4)

By winning the 2022 Diamond League event in Paris, she set an African record by 0.01s with a time of 12.41s.

30 JUN 2022- Bauhaus- Gaian, Olympiastadion, Stockholm, Sweeden- 2nd

Time- 12.50secs (-0.5)

26 AUG 2022 Athletissima, Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, Lausanne, Switzerland- 2nd

Time- 12.45secs (-0.9)

08 SEP 2022
Weltklasse, Letzigrund, Zürich, Switzerland- 1st(Wins title)

Time- 12.29secs (-0.3)

  • Broke Gail Devers’ 22-year-old meeting record(12.39secs) to defend her Diamond League 100mH title in 12.29secs

In describing her stellar season and year 2022 in one word, The World Champion said, “God is faithful”.

Indeed, God has been faithful to the phenomenon who scaled through life hurdles to become a global superstar.

Tobi Amusan has indeed cemented her place in history as the greatest Nigerian athlete of all time (at least for now) as she is Nigeria’s first-ever World Record Holder, World Champion, and a potential Olympic Champion in Paris 2024 and beyond.

Her wins are now a source of influence for Nigeria’s track and field events. She has now led a victory charge that would influence the young generation positively and could change Athletics for good in her country forever.

Oluwatobiloba Ayomide Amusan

World Champion, 2x Diamond League Champion, 3x Commonwealth Games , Olympic Finalist, 2x African Champion, Multiple Nigerian Champion..

World Record Holder- 12.12secs.

Potential Olympic Champion..

Legend, Phenomenon, Golden Superstar..

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