By Uche Amunike
Twenty-five year old world record holder and 100m hurdles champion, Tobi Amusan has been shocked at being one of the 10 nominees listed by World Athletics for Women’s World Athlete of the Year 2022.
Receiving the news of her nomination left her stunned and loss of words to express her feelings momentarily. Afterwards, when she overcame her initial shock, she stated: ‘Through the grace of God, I have achieved so many ‘firsts by a Nigerian’ and this is yet another one. I’m so honoured to be selected as a World Athlete of the Year Nominee and the first Nigerian ever to reach this height.’
‘I have twice being named Nigerian Athlete of the Year by Athletic Heat platform but this is my first international nomination and I want us to win it’, she said.
In July, she made history at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA as she won a world outdoor title, when for the first time in the history of Nigeria, a world record of 12.12 seconds was set during the semi-final stage.
In 2021, Tobi Amusan made history as the first Nigerian in the Diamond League era to win the Diamond Trophy, while also making history at the Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham where she broke the record by being the first Nigerian track and field athletes to successfully defend the Commonwealth Games title and winning Gold in the Commonwealth games for the first time ever.
In the meantime, the finalists will be determined by a three-way voting process. Votes will be cast through email by the World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family, while fans will vote online, through the World Athletics social media platforms.
Individual graphics will be posted for each nominee on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube; a ‘like’ on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or even a retweet on Twitter will be regarded as a 1 vote.
The votes of the World Athletics Council will make up 50% of the results, while that of the World Athletics Family and the public votes will each count for 25% of the final result.
The voting for World Athletes of the Year will close, Midnight, Monday 31st October 2022. At the end of the voting process, a total of five women and five men will be announced by World Athletics. The winners will be announced in early December, on World Athletics social media platforms.
Recall that a few weeks after breaking the world record, Tobi Amusan met with Governor Dapo Abiodun at the Ogun State Government House in Abeokuta, where she was honored with an award of Youth Ambassador in the state, to serve as a role model to the youths. The State government also gifted her a house and N5 million.
Governor Abiodun stated: ‘We are going to be presenting you with one of those homes in Ijebu-Ode. We are rest assured that you will come back home and live in Ijebu Ode’.
‘We will be giving you a small token. Now you are a big girl, we are only a state government. No matter who you are, you can’t be bigger than your state. It’s not the quantum of what we are giving you but the thoughts that come with it’.