Amusan, a world record holder, describes how her father set fire on her training gear.
Tobi Amusan, a Nigerian sprinter, has revealed how her father sabotaged her attempts during her early days in the sport.
Amusan, who set a world record early Monday at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA, revealed her father once burned her training gear.
The 25-year-old won the gold medal in the women’s 100m hurdles after setting a world record of 12.12 seconds in the semi-finals.
She is also the first Nigerian to win a world championship gold medal, since the country’s national song was performed for the first time during the games.
Amusan told BBC Sport Africa about her childhood growing up in her parents’ home.
“Both of my parents are teachers, and they are severe disciplinarians,” Amusan explained.
“When you grow up in a household like this, they believe you should focus on school.” And since you are a woman, they believe you will stray, lose concentration, and so on.
“However, because my mother saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself, she thought she could give me a chance.” And she kept imploring me not to let her down.
“My mother would tell my father I was going to church while I sneaked to practice, or she would tell him I was going to a school debate when I was competing out of state.” That’s where it all began.
“When my father found out [I was running], he was furious.” He burned all of my training equipment and informed my mother that it was the last time he wanted to see me in a stadium.”
Amusan had finished fourth in both the 2019 World Athletics Championships and the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but her perseverance paid off.
“I go out there and give it my all in every championship, and it’s just never enough,” she continued. It’s always a fourth-place finish.
“Then my 100 percent this time is not just a gold medal, but a world record.” Everything became easy because I trusted myself. I’m grateful to God for keeping me well. It’s your time when God says it’s your time.”
Meanwhile, multiple comments have followed Amusan’s November 2016 tweet, which reads: “Unknown now, but soon I will be memorable, I will persevere till I achieve.”
The tweet, which summarizes her ascent to fame, has stayed pinned to the top of her social media page.