By Dare Esan:
Sprint hurdler Tobiloba Amusan will need to overcome her sloppy movement out of the blocks in the first round if she hopes to become the second Nigerian woman to run in the final of the 100m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The petite Nigerian has been drawn in the second of three semi-final heats which will be held Friday evening at the London Stadium and, on current form, looks to be one of the favourites for the two automatic qualification slots for Saturday’s final.
Amusan, the first Nigerian to win the 100m hurdles title at the highly competitive and prestigious American collegiate championships, will however need to run faster than the 12.57 seconds she ran to win the collegiate title last June in Eugene, Oregon if she is to overcome the challenges that will be posed by defending champion Jamaica’s Danielle Williams who holds a 12.56 seconds season’s best.
Yanique Thompson also of Jamaica, Belarus’ Alina Talay, bronze medal winner from the previos edition, and America’s Christina Manning, whose explosive start in heat five of the first round left the Nigerian playing catch-up, are also in her heat.
While Amusan looks a good bet for a place in the final either as an automatic qualifier or one of the two fastest losers, Lindsey Lindley who qualified for tonight’s semi-final via the fastest losers’ route will need a miracle to make her first final in two attempts.
The American who changed allegiance to run for Nigeria in 2014 and had her Nigeria bow at the African Championships same year in Marakech, Morocco without attending the Nigerian trials, must run faster than her 12.90 seconds personal best to stand a chance of qualifying for the fnal.
She will run from lane 2 in the very first semi-final heat and has been drawn against such heavyweights as former Olympic champion Sally Pearson of Australia who has gradually raced back to form and holds a 12.48 season’s best, Nia Alli of the US (12.52 seconds season’s best), Mega Simmonds of Jamaica (12.63 seconds season’s best) and Phylicia George of Canada (12.85 seconds season’s best).
Only Glory Alozie has raced in the final of the event as a debutant in 1999 in Seville, Spain where she ran 12.44 seconds to win the silver medal behind USA’s Gail Devers.
IAAF Worlds: Nigeria’s Amusan Gets Fair Semis Draw, Lindley Needs Miracle
By Dare Esan: