Nigerian athlete Tobi Amusan wept softly on Sunday, July 24 on the podium of the World Athletics Championship while the national anthem was being played.
The 25-year-old, born in Ijedu-Ode, Ogun State, became the first Nigerian to win gold at the competition where she raced to victory in the women’s 100m hurdles in Eugene, Oregon, United States.
Amusan clocked an incredible 12.06 seconds, smashing her world record in the semi-final where she clocked 12.12 seconds.
Britany Anderson of Jamaica won silver in 12.23 seconds, while Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico had to settle for bronze in 12.23 seconds.
Amusan let tears roll down her cheeks as she stood above her contemporaries.
Oregon 2022 is Amusan’s third appearance at the World Championships after making her debut in London in 2017 where she made the semi-finals before finishing fourth in the final in Doha in 2019. She also placed fourth at the Tokyo Olympics.
Nigerians have taken to social media to praise her for the feat. Among them are presidential candidates Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi and Bola Tinubu.
Reacting to her tears on the podium, a tweep Dipo Awojide wrote, “Hearing the Nigerian national anthem and watching Tobi Amusan made me shed tears. Such an historic moment. Such a great country with great potential. I love love love Nigeia.”
Another tweep Yom wrote, “When Tobi Amusan was reciting the National Anthem in tears, smiling in-between and shaking her head lightly… I FELT THAT! Nigeria’s first ever World Championship GOLD! Big Congrats to her!”
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a congratulatory message by his spokesman Femi Adesina on Monday, July 25 joined millions of Nigerians in celebrating Amusan “who in one night stunned the athletics world with her superlative and stellar performance.”
He also commended Ese Brume for representing Nigeria with honour and pride, winning silver medal in the women’s long jump event.