World champion and record holder in women’s 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, is one race away from successfully defending the title she won in 2022 after easing into the final of the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday.
She clocked a time of 12.56secs to win the second semi-final and take one of the automatic spots in the final, which comes up in the evening session on Thursday (today).
Like she did in the heats on Tuesday, Amusan picked up slowly from the starting block and crossed the line ahead of Jamaica’s Ackera Nugent, who picked the second qualifying spot in the race in a time 12.60secs.
Amusan’s 12.56 is the eight best qualifying time for the final.
The 26-year-old will now return for the heavyweight final today, when she will line up against American former world record holder Kendra Harrison, who leads the pack with 12.33secs from the first semi-final and Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who posted 12.41secs to win the last semi-final.
At last year’s championships in Oregon, Amusan made history as Nigeria’s first-ever world champion and record holder, setting the current world record 12.12secs in the semi-final. She returned in the final in 12.06secs but it didn’t stand as it was wind-assisted.
After enjoying a steady start to her preparation for this year’s championship, running a season’s best of 12.34secs at a Dia mold League meeting in July, she was hit by a provisional suspension by the Athletics Integrity Unit for three whereabout failures in 12 months.
Relief, however, came two days before Budapest 2023, after a panel of the Disciplinary Tribunal, by majority decision, found her not guilty of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) of three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period.
The final is slated for 7:22pm Nigerian time.