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Amusan thrilled by African championships 4x100m gold after illness

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Nigerian hurdler, Tobi Amusan, says she is grateful to have been able to overcome illness and help Nigeria win a third consecutive women’s 4x100m gold at the African Championships in Cameroon.

Amusan was said to have taken ill upon arrival in Douala and consequently missed out on the chance to defend her women’s 100m hurdles title, which was eventually won by Liberia’s Ebony Morrison.

The 27-year-old, however, recovered from the illness and was drafted into the women’s 4x100m team, which she anchored to a gold medal finish.

Justina Eyakpobeya started a great race and handed over to Tima Godbless on time. Godbless didn’t disappoint either, as she overpowered her challengers to hand the baton to Olayinka Olajide.

She ran the last bend to hand over to Amusan, who anchored at 42.72s.

“You just have to stay humble. The sport is already humbling and for every time I completed this year, I never took anyone for granted”, Amusan said via Making of Champions after the team’s medal presentation before the close of the championships.

“So, I had to step in for the team, brace and do my thing for the country and I’m just glad that I was able to have that little strength in me to push through to the finish line. And you are healthy, last year wasn’t and I just wish I could compete here and there”.

Following the completion of the African Championships, Amusan will turn her attention to the Paris 2024 Olympics, which will be held from 26 July 26 to 11 August.

The world record holder is poised to win her first Olympic medal, having been in great form in the run-up to the sports fiesta.

She had run a world lead of 12.40secs (0.9), at the Jamaican Athletics Invitational in May, which was only bettered by France’s Cyréna Samba-Mayela’s 12.31s (+0.8) earlier this month.

She had also set the African 60m hurdles indoor record twice in January and February and admitted she was in better shape than in previous seasons.

Amusan, a three-time (consecutive) Diamond League winner, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist, two-time African champion and three-time African Games gold medalist, has participated in two Olympic Games (Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020).

She didn’t make it beyond the heats on her debut appearance in 2016 and finished fourth at the last edition in Tokyo, marginally missing out on the podium.

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