Nigeria’s first female Olympic gold medallist, Chioma Ajunwa-Opara, has backed hurdler, Tobi Amusan to win a gold medal at the forthcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games following her outstanding feat at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday, The PUNCH reports.
The 51-year-old also believes Amusan who is in blistering form will also make a podium finish at the World Championship in Oregon USA.
Amusan broke her record in the 100m women’s hurdle after clocking 12.41secs on Saturday – 0.02secs better than her previous 12.42secs in her third-best run of the season.
In September 2021, Amusan had earlier set a sensational African Record and Personal Best of 12.42secs at Diamond League in Zurich.
Ajunwa, who spoke with our correspondent after Amusan broke her own record, expressed delight at Nigeria having a top contender for gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and at the World Championship.
“I’m happy for Tobi and that’s the essence of hardwork,” Ajunwa told The PUNCH.
“That shows that she will win gold for Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and in the World Championship.
“This is the kind of news we want to be reading and she has to keep it up. I pray she keeps her head down till the Commonwealth Games and repeat it again by winning gold there and at the World Championships,” Ajunwa added.
The President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Tonobok Okowa also hailed Amusan after setting the new record.
The athletics body said Amusan’s feat has given Nigeria hope of challenging for a first-ever gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon next month.
“Congratulations to Tobi who has continued to deliver for Nigeria at the top level of track and field in the world,” Okowa said.
“The reigning Commonwealth Games champion, fourth at the Olympics last year in Tokyo and at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar in 2019 looks capable of claiming her first global medal in Oregon as well as retaining the Commonwealth title she won in 2018.
“Nigeria’s national anthem is yet to be sung at the flagship event of World Athletics, the World Championships and Tobi Amusan now looks ready to join Ese Brume, our sprinters and the relay teams in the bid to get Nigeria to the podium as world champion.
“Nigeria has won at least a global medal since Okowa was elected as AFN president in June last year and the trend looks set to continue in Oregon.
“Ese (Brume) won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. It was the first time since 2008 that Nigeria won a track and field medal at the quadrennial games. Tobi Amusan made history last year as the first Nigerian to win a Diamond League title and this year Ese got a silver in the long jump at the World Indoor championship, our first since Olusoji Fasuba won the 60m gold in Valencia, Spain in 2008.”