Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, who was not among the great favorites in the 100m hurdles, won the gold medal in the final of the World Championships in Eugene and a new world record in the semifinals, since her winning time (12.06) was achieved in an illegal wind of 2.5 meters per second.
Jamaica’s Britany Anderson won the silver medal with 12.23, 5 thousandths of a second ahead of Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (12.23), while USA’s Kendra Harrison had a bitter day: she lost her world record in the semifinals and was disqualified in the final.
The preceding rounds had claimed illustrious victims such as the defending champion herself, the American Nia Ali, who rolled down the track in her heat, or her compatriot Alaysha Johnson, the second fastest of the year with 12.35.
All the pressure was on Kendra Harrison, world record holder with 12.20 and leader of the year with 12.34, who was chasing her first global outdoor title. She lost to Ali at the Doha World Championships and to Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn at the Tokyo Olympics.
The scenario changed
But the semifinals radically changed the picture. Tobi Amusan, 25, stopped the clock in 12.12, with a legal 0.9 m/s favorable wind, lowering Harrison’s world record, which dated back to 2016, by 8 hundredths. Fifteen hundredths later, in the same heat, Kendra herself crossed the finish line.
Amusan, fourth at the Doha World Championships and Tokyo Games, had broken the African record this Saturday in the heats with 12.40, but her unexpected record raised suspicions, timing-wise, in people as qualified as former athlete Michael Johnson.
Less than two hours later, Amusan debuted as a record holder with a victory that ratified his new status as world number one in the high hurdles.