Nigeria: Okowa Salutes Amusan, Says It's a New Dawn for Nigerian Athletics

12 September 2021

The President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa has said that Tobi Amusan's historic feat at the Diamond League final in Zurich last Thursday is the perfect way to close what has been a glorious year for Nigerian track and field.

Amusan made history as the first Nigerian, man or woman to be crowned Diamond League champion after winning the 100m hurdles race at the Weltklasse Diamond League meeting in Zurich .

The 24 year old also set a new 12.42 seconds African record in addition to winning the $30,000 (about N15million) top prize money and securing qualification for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA next year. "Tobi has proved she is one of the best sprint hurdlers in the world and has made up for not making the podium at the Tokyo Olympics," said Okowa who has personally congratulated the reigning African and Commonwealth 100m hurdles queen.

"Tobi's feat is a continuation of the positive developments we have been seeing in track and field since the start of the year and, on behalf of the executive board of the AFN, I want to sincerely thank the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, for his huge support our federation received during the crisis that engulfed the last board since 2017.

"He ensured the athletes didn't lack competition since he was appointed by Mr President in 2019 and the results have been phenomenal," added Okowa. The AFN president said his board is building on the solid foundation the Sports Minister laid.

"For the first in 13 years we achieved our best performance at the Olympics by winning a medal and getting as many as four athletes to qualify for the finals of their respective events at the Tokyo Olympics.

"We also achieved our best ever performance at the World U-20 Athletics Championships, winning an unprecedented four gold in an equally unprecedented seven medals haul.

"Now Tobi has written a new script at World Athletics elite one-day meetings 21 years after Falilat Ogunkoya was crowned the 400m Golden League champion."

Okowa assured stakeholders that what has happened in the last two months is a signal there is a new dawn for track and field in Nigeria. '

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