My parents wanted me to focus on education - World Champion, Tobi Amusan
Updated: Jul 27, 2022
Tobiloba Amusan might have emerged as the fastest woman in the world following her 12.06s finish in the 100m hurdles at the ongoing World Championships on Sunday, but she still recalls the troubles she went through with her parents as a young runner.
The 25-year old in a chat with BBC Africa, recalled how it always seemed as if the odds were stacked against her running career from the beginning with her father burning her running gear.
"My parents are both teachers, they are strict disciplinarians,"
"When you grow up in such a family, they feel you should focus on school. And being a female, they think you are going to go astray, lose focus and all of that.
"But because my mum saw what I didn't see [in] myself, she felt she could give me a chance. And she kept telling me not to disappoint her.
"My mum would tell my dad I was going to church while I sneaked to practice or tell him I was going to a school debate while I went to an out-of-state competition. That's where it all started.
"My dad got really mad one time when he found out [I was running]. He burnt all my training gear and told my mum that's the last time he wanted to see me in a stadium." Amusan told BBC Sport Africa.
Fast forward several years, and tears of joy streamed down her cheeks as Amusan stood on the top step of the podium at Hayward Field on a historic day for Nigeria, which saw the Nigerian National Anthem played at the World Athletics Championships for the first time ever.
"It has not sunk in yet, maybe the magnitude of what just happened will hit me later," she said.
"I go out there and put 100% in every championship and it's just never enough. Every time it's a fourth-place finish.
"Then this time my 100% is not only a gold medal but a world record. Trusting myself just made everything easier. I'm thankful to the man above for keeping me healthy. When God says it's your time, it's your time."