Tobi Amusan: Top 10 Facts about the World’s Fastest Female Hurdler

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Ever watched a clip of Nigerian Talisman, Tobi Amusan, sprinting? If you have, you must agree with me that she didn’t cheat her way to become the first-ever Nigerian World Champion and World record holder. She became the topic of the media after a outstanding performance at the Semis in Oregon. Amusan reached the finish line in a staggering 12.12 sec beating Kendra Harrison’s 2016 record of 12.20 sec.

TOBI AMUSAN PROFILE

Full name: Oluwatobiloba Ayomide Amusan
Birth Date: 23 April 1997 (age 25)
Place of Birth: Ijebu Ode, Nigeria
Height: 1.56 m (5 ft 1 in)
Weight: 57 kg (126 lb)
Sprint: 100 metres hurdles
Club: Buka Tigers
Current Coach: Lacena Golding-Clarke

10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT TOBI AMUSAN.

1. VISA HITCHES MADE HER MISS A WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BUT IT WAS AN IRONY.
Tobi Amusan with her cash prize
Amusan with her Cash prize

Due to Visa hitches, Tobi Amusan missed the world record championships held at Oregon in 2014. Ironically, the same event hosted at the same place (Oregon) became a steppingstone for her in 2022 where she conquered the world in the senior category.

2. AMUSAN’S FATHER WANTED HER TO STUDY MEDICINE.
Tobi Amusan hurdling.


Her father didn’t sanction her venture into athletics. He wanted her to study Medicine instead. At one instance, he burnt her running kits and warned that he should never see her run again. She said:


“My mom would cover for me that I was going for inter-school debates in Shagamu and then she would drive down there to give me my outfit.”

~ Tobi Amusan.
3. HER STORY WASN’T ALL THAT GLITTERY.
Tobi Amusan crying
Tobi Amusan.

As with every success story, Tobi’s journey to where she is right now wasn’t all-round smooth. Her father said, in a PUNCH interview, that they struggled to pay her fees.


“With a meagre salary, we struggled to feed and pay school fees. It was not easy. We usually gathered whatever we had to support her. Her mother did a lot for her. Before I could help, her mother would have done it almost all the time.”

Mr. Kehinde Amusan.


In another interview, the 25-year-old athlete told BBC Sports that she almost quit being an athlete when she didn’t make the women’s relay team at the 2013 African Youth Games in Warri.

4. ESE BRUME IS TOBI’S BEST FRIEND.
Amusan (left) and Tobi (right).

You definitely know Brume: she was the long jumper that won Nigeria a gold medal, alongside Amusan, at the 2022 championships. Yes, she’s friends with Amusan.

In 2021, Amusan was interviewed by Making of Champions after placing fourth in the final of the women’s 100m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics, and she said:

“I didn’t do as much as I wanted to do to get on the podium, but she (Brume) is my roommate, my best friend, and my sister and I won’t let my own setback stop me from going to cheer her on. So, I had to brace myself up and went out for her and she did me, herself, her coach and the entire nation proud.”

~ Tobi Amusan.
5. TOBI HAPPENS TO BE THE BABY OF THE HOUSE.
Tobi Amusan at Texas.

Birthed to Mr. Kehinde Amusan, Tobi is the last of her parent’s three children. She grew up living with them at Ijebu-Ode in Ogun state where she attended Our Lady of Apostles secondary school, before moving to the US for her undergrad studies at the University of Texal El Paso (UTEP).

6. TOBI AMUSAN HAS A SECOND MUM.
Tobi Amusan and Lacena Golding-Clarke
Amusan and her coach, Lacena.

Don’t tell anyone… but Tobi Amusan’s really has a second mum. And that’s her coach – Lacena Golding-Clarke. On her Facebook media handle, Amusan wrote:

“You all should meet my lovely coach and second mum, Coach Lacena Golding Clarke. She recruited me while I was back in Nigeria to UTEP when I was running 14.2s and today is history for both of us.”

~ Tobi Amusan on her FB.

Lacena Golding-Clarke is a retired female hurdling athlete from Jamaica. She represented Jamaica at the Summer Olympics in 1996, 2000 and 2004, and took part in the World Championships in Athletics on five separate occasions. The Jamaican coach won a gold medal in the 100 metres hurdles at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

7. SHE KIND OF PREDICTED HER 2022 VICTORY.
Tobi Amusan with her Gold medal.

Wait… was she a prophet? Around November 2016, an 18-year old Amusan went on tweeted this:

“Unknown now, but soon I will be unforgettable. I will persist until I succeed.”

~ Tobi Amusan on her Twitter.

And 6 years after that tweet, Tobi Amusan has really become unforgettable.

8. SHE’S SHOOK HANDS WITH PRESIDENT BUHARI.
Tobi Amusan receiving her award.

Tobi Amusan is an OON. She was conferred this National Honour by Mr. President – meaning you can’t write her name without putting OON behind.

OON: Officer of the Order of Niger.

She’s also met with her state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who rewarded her a cash prize of 5 million Naira and a house gift in her hometown.

9. TOBI AMUSAN IS SIGNED TO ADIDAS AND OTHERS.
Tobi Amusan smiling with Gold medal on neck
Tobi Amusan smiling

The second largest sportswear manufacturer in the world, ADIDAS, has sponsored Amusan long before her 2022 record alongside Nigerian athletes like Ese Brume. After her 2022 success, she also signed brand ambassadorial deals with PremiumTrust Bank, Globacom, Flutterwave and Plug Sports.

10. SHE HAS A B.SC. DEGREE IN KINESIOLOGY.
Tobi Amusan with her prizes at UTEP

Tobi Amusan bowed out of the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) in 2019. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. She told El Paso Times after her graduation:

“The goal was to come here, get my degree alongside doing what I love doing most: running track. And I’m glad finally, I can call myself a UTEP graduate.”

At UTEP, Amusan became the second athlete for the university to be named C-USA Female Track athlete of the Year since UTEP joined C-USA. She was the gold medallist in both the 100 m hurdles and the 200 m.

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