Tobi Amusan, the women’s 100m hurdles world record holder, says she took a $50,000 loan to aid her preparation for the World Athletics Championships earlier this year. Amusan spoke in a chat with reporters in Lagos on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the World Athletics ratified her 12.12 seconds finish at the world championship semi-final as the new world record.
Amusan became the first Nigerian world champion after she stormed to a sensational 12.06 seconds in the final — but a strong in-race tailwind which was higher than allowed meant it was not acknowledged.
Speaking on the circumstance leading to the historical moment in Oregon, Amusan said she was injury prone, hence the need to take the loan to enable her to stay in shape for the competition. “Yes, definitely. I’ve got injuries a couple of times,” she said.
“There was so much I needed to do when it comes to my health as a professional athlete, and staying on top of my game required a lot of funding.”
The 25-year-old consolidated her feat with a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games before retaining her Diamond League title to put a brilliant wrap on her season.
Last week, Amusan’s achievement was officially recognised by President Muhammadu Buhari who conferred her with the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).
“It’s a great feeling to be recognised by the president,” the world record holder said.
“In as much as we did the work, it was an honour that they realised that we did the nation proud and it was a great feeling getting that title.”
Amusan received $100,000 for breaking the world record in Oregon. She also earned $30,000 for retaining her Diamond League title.