August 01, (THEWILL) – Hopes of Nigeria clinching a medal in the track and field events are being kept alive by the team’s women’s 100m hurdler Oluwatobiloba Ayomide Amusan. On Sunday, the adopt-a-talent initiative beneficiary qualified for the final of her event after winning semi-final 1 of the race to gold.
Amusan scaled through the hurdles to cross the line ahead of the competition in a time of 12.62s to become the first Nigerian Olympian to do so since the Sydney 2000 Olympics when Gloria Alozie went all the way to a silver medal finish for Nigeria.
The Nigerian athlete finished ahead of the 12.66s of Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas, Costa Rica’s Andrea Vargas who crossed the line in 12.69s and Christina Clemons of the USA with her 12.76 result and forth-place finish. Only Amusan and Charlton reached the final in the end.
The 23-year-old Amusan is on course to imitate the exploits of Alozie 21 years ago and keep strong the country’s pursuit of a medal in the XXXII Summer Games, which has so far eluded Nigeria especially in most of the events where there were real medal hopefuls such as the male and female events of the 100m dash, tennis and basketball.
Hopefully, Amusan, who has enjoyed a blistering season and maintained a high level of consistency to keep her in contention for a medal can get the gold as Alozie did representing Spain in the 2002 European Championship after switching nationalities.
Amusan will take to the lanes in the final of the 100m Women’s Hurdles on Monday with Team Nigeria’s medal race on her shoulders after men’s 100m hopeful Enoch Adegoke, the first Nigerian to reach the final of the 100m men’s event at the Olympics in 25 years, limped off injured and did not finish.