AMINA BRAI OMOIKE
More Nigerians have reacted to Tobi Amusan’s world championship record at the just concluded World Athletic Championship in Oregon, USA.
It is no longer news that Tobi Amusan broke two records within a few hours on Monday as she emerged top on the table and flew the country’s flag high in the Women 100m Hurdles.
Following her win, a Tweet which she posted November 8, 2016 resurfaced. There, she predicted her shining. “Unknown now, but soon I will be UNFORGETTABLE. I will Persist until I SUCCEED.”
She also revealed that this year, she knew it was her time and her turn.
On the Adidas Wall of Dreams prior to the race, she wrote in faith. “Incoming World Record holder and World Champion”.
Many Nigerians have expressed optimism that Amusan’s win is a glimpse of the positive change coming to Nigeria.
Nigerian table tennis player Funke Oshonaike commenting on Amusan’s Facebook page: “My darling Oluwatobiloba, the greatest of our time. I am super proud of you girl as always. Thank you for making me so very happy.”
Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, president, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria congratulating Amusan said “An entire nation cried with you on that stage, tears flowing freely, proudly and gratefully for the joy of your achievement, your overcoming and our hope for the promise of a Nigeria in which everyone can dream and find a stairway to climb and touch the face of God. You were triumphant on that track and as you stretched out your arms, we all rushed into your embrace. Thank you, we have waited an entire generation to see this moment of God’s goodness. Thank you, Tobi.”
Pastor Paul Adefarasin, the Prelate and Metropolitan Senior Pastor of the House on the Rock Church: “Celebrating our greatness as a nation! Congratulations to Tobi Amusan, the gold medalist at the world championships and our very own world record breaker. You have made us all proud and also reminded us of the power of our flag and the passion that comes with singing our anthem. Your patriotism, athleticism and determination are globally to be reckoned with. Keep leading. Cheers to many more wins!”
Gospel singer Emmanuel Benjamin, better known as Eben wrote: “A new Nigeria is on the horizon…can you feel it? We will be known again for positive record-breaking feats! Our anthem will be so heard that other nations of the world will be able to sing it. Something is brewing! We are breaking records spiritually with music (02), physically with sports (here) and mentally with geniuses all over the world! Believe again, comrades believe. He advised that instead of complaining, every Nigeria should be posting the feat.”
Singer and songwriter Pastor Wale Adenuga posting on Instagram said: “Tears of joy. Shouts of joy, orchestrated by Nigeria’s own beyond her borders. Lord, please let these be the signs of the first fruits of tears and shouts of joy in our land. Not long from now; not long form now, Lord!”
For Pastor Leke Adeboye, youngest child of RCCG General Overseer and Senior Personal Assistant to the GO: “The potentials of young Nigerians is one that cannot be overlooked, and we are happy our young ones are making us proud all over the world. Tobi Amusan has done good for the nation, and this is only the beginning! Many more would rise and Nigerian would be great again! Congratulations, Tobi Amusan, our star hurdler.”
Pastor Mrs Ifeanyi Adefarasin, co-Pastor of the House on the Rock Church said she was emotional with Amusan’s win. “Tears welled up and begun to flow down my cheeks even before Tobi’s tears of joy. The Nigerian national anthem sounds so beautiful! I sang the words so proudly with passion and emotion. I smiled when our flag was lifted slightly higher than others. I was again reminded about the greatness within Nigerians. Congratulations Tobi Amusan. You exhibit the core of who Nigerians are – hardworking, dedicated, committed, visionary people. You make us proud. You are an inspiration. More wins to Nigerians.”
Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, former Chairman of First Bank PLC who is also a pastor at the Fountain of Life Bible Church posited that “If we make the right investments in the talents of our people, and allow a just and equitable competitive environment, there will be too many moments like this to count. If ‘girls’ are good enough to bring such great honour to the fatherland through a world championship, they are good enough for any job. This has to be reflected in the laws we make, in our politics and our economic opportunities. As we saw Tobi Amusan become the world champion, we all celebrated as Nigerians!!! No one thought about her tribe or yours. The best of us should be able to serve the rest of us, as long as justice and equity is maintained.”
For motivational speaker and leadership expert, Fela Durotoye, Amusan’s win was Our moment of pride. He said: “A deserved standing ovation. The glimpse of hope for our dear nation. This is truly an incredible feat by Tobi Amusan. The dedication and resilience over the years has finally paid off. You have brought the joy to the faces of many across the country and we are more than glad to celebrate you. Thank you! Congratulations to the new record holder and WORLD CHAMPION.”
Veteran actor Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) said: “In the face of a failing and broken nation, the people continue to rise. An attestation of the true Nigerian spirit that continues to evade us in leadership. Against all odds, we see you, Tobi Amusan. You embody the emergence of a new tribe and encourage many to hope and work for a better Nigeria”.
PR expert and Group CEO, Red For Africa, Adebola Williams posted on Instagram: “So so proud of our own flying the banner inspite of. Nigeria has given us all what it has and we take that indomitable spirit to conquer the world. Let’s remember, it’s always about what we do with what is in our hands.”
Amusan has attributed her victory to hard work, determination and the God factor. She had said she never doubted God for once.
Speaking at her post-victory interview, she said: “You know, I’m elated. It’s been a journey and I am thankful to God for keeping me healthy. I couldn’t be more thankful for coming out here and for the win and the world record; it’s crazy.
“Coming into the semi-finals, the goal was to execute and survive to the finals – but seeing the world record, I said to myself ‘yes’ and that’s all thanks to God.
“You know I have been that ‘almost girl’ at every championship and now I can say, God did it. It’s a real blessing to be able to come here to showcase our talents. We come from a very big country so those of us that have talents, we showcase it to the glory of God.”
Amusan was born on April 23, 1997 in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State to parents who are school teachers. The last of three children, Tobi attended Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School, Ijebu Ode where she started participating and competing in athletics.
She was a silver medalist at the 2013 African Youth Championships in Warri and also claimed gold in the 100 metres hurdles at the 2015 African Junior Athletics Championships in Addis Ababa. In 2015, while making her All-Africa Games debut as an 18-year-old, she won the gold medal in the 100 metres hurdles.
In 2016, as a freshman for University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Amusan became the second athlete for the university to be named C-USA Female Track athlete of the Year since UTEP joined C-USA.
She was the gold medalist in both the 100 mH and the 200 m. She also claimed a silver in the long jump at the C-USA Championships.
Amusan also competed at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz. Despite running her second fastest time ever, she placed fifth in the final. She went on to represent Nigeria at the Rio Olympic Games, reaching the semifinals of the 100 mH.