Last month, Tobi Amusan, a Nigerian track and field athlete won the gold medal at the World Athletics Championship. Mass and social media went buzzing with reports of her exploits. Nigerians who were disappointed by the inability of the nations Men's Football team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup tournament received the news of Amusan's victory with great excitement. Nigeria has not been performing well in the sports scene for quite some time. Amusan's win at the athletics championship changed the status quo and made Nigerians who are generally sports enthusiasts proud. Her achievement was a breath of fresh air for Nigerian sports.
Amusan's performance at the World Athletics Championship at Eugene, Oregon in the 100m women hurdles event was stellar. She had initially surpassed the world record of the women's hurdle in the semi-finals of the competition by a time of 12.12s. The world record was 12.20s and has been in place since 2016. Amusan went on to put a better performance at the finals and smashed the world record again at a faster time, 12.06s. Unfortunately, her time in the finals will not be acknowledged because of a favourable tailwind. Regardless of this decision, she has accomplished a great feat. She ran the fastest time in the women's 100m hurdle event and became the first Nigerian athlete to win a gold medal at the championship. An achievement that has made Nigerians proud of her.
The story of Amusan's journey to the pinnacle of athletics is really inspiring. She is an embodiment of self-confidence and progress. In 2017, she made her debut in the World Athletics Championship in London where she made it to the semi-finals. She took it a step further in the 2019 Doha Championship and came out fourth in the finals. A position she secured a year later in the finals of the Olympic games held in Tokyo. A look at Amusan's performance in these competitions shows that she improved in each one. It reveals her consistency and progress. Her development personifies the age long proverb that says that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step". In essence, take one step at a time. Amusan's ascent to the peak of her profession is proof that diligence and consistency rewards dedicated people. It aslo serves as an inspiration to sportsmen and anyone striving t obe successful.
As Nigeria celebrates Amusan's achievement in athletics I would like to implore the Nigerian government to focus on sports development. Policies and action plans should be made to develop the sector because the benefits it has to offer are enormous. Interest in sports needs to be ignited in schools and the nation at large. Good and sustainable sports programmes need to be established. So also should investments be made in sports infrastructure. Robust training programmes should be set up for professional athletes and sportsmen to enhance their performance at major competitions. I believe efforts like these will bring about development in sports in the country. The nation has more to gain from such investments. One of such benefits will be a reduction in the rate of unemployment. Unemployed youths and persons can leverage on the opportunities in sports and become productive. Another benefit is financial empowerment of sportsmen. Amusan received a cash prize of 100,000 dollars after winning the championship in Oregon. A stupendous amount of money that can set anyone up for life! National unity is aslo strengthened by sports. Nigerians by nature are sports enthusiasts and love it when our sportsmen excel. They embrace successful sportsmen without caring about their ethnicity. Sports will enrich the lives of Nigerian.
The trajectory of Amusan*s rise to prominence is astonishing and worthy of admiration. I came across a tweet of hers on Twitter posted in 2016. It reads "Unknown now, but I will be unforgettable. I will persist until I succeed." A clear and bold mission statement! Her recent accomplishments has shown that this mission statement of hers has been manifested! She has become a force to be reckoned with in her profession. She has written her name in the pages of athletics history. She has become "Unforgettable"! Her story portrays so many good qualities that can be adopted by anyone that wants to be successful. It is a story of faith and inspiration. Amusan has made Nigeria proud and is a role model that is worthy of emulation. Congratulations champ!
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Have a splendid day folks.