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Tobi Amusan breaks 100m hurdles world record, then runs even faster at track worlds

Tobi Amusan explodes for a 12.12 in the women's 100m hurdles at the Track and Field World Championships, breaking Keni Harrison's world record.

Nigerian Tobi Amusan broke the women’s 100m hurdles world record in the semifinals at the world track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon. She went even faster to win the final nearly two hours later.

Amusan, who was fourth at the Tokyo Olympics and at the last worlds in 2019, clocked 12.12 seconds in Sunday’s semifinals at Hayward Field.

In the final, she won in 12.06, but with too much tailwind for record purposes. Jamaican Britany Anderson took silver, followed by Olympic gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico.

Amusan took eight hundredths off American Keni Harrison‘s world record of 12.20 from 2016. It’s the largest time drop for a world record in the event in 42 years.

“At first I was like, where the wind reading at?” Amusan said (the wind was +.9 meters/second, well below the limit of two meters/second). “But then I wasn’t really bothered because the goal is to cross the line first.”

Amusan’s previous personal best was 12.40, set in the first round at worlds on Saturday.

Amusan became a hurdler by chance, according to World Athletics. At age 13 or 14, she went to a meet intending to compete in the flat sprints and long jump. But by the time she arrived, the only event left was a hurdles race. She won that race, and the rest -- especially Sunday night -- is now history.


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