Tobi Amusan Changes Narrative In Gloomy Times

Tobi Amusan Changes Narrative In Gloomy Times

With a plethora of deleterious events bordering on killings, kidnappings and escalating terrorism, not a few citizens have been with living with deep anxiety in the weeks past.

The stories were apparently too scary to be true, only looking real as works of fiction or horror movies.

With the chilling accounts of the ambush of the elite presidential guards by terrorists in which some officers were shut dead; to the killing of cops after a police station was torched in Ondo and the ravaging exploits of terrorists in Kaduna, Taraba, Zamfara, Plateau among others, it was obvious that a nation was indeed under siege by enemies of the state who would rather allow a running national disorder than a country in one piece.

Sadly too, terrorists who hijacked the Abuja-Kaduna bound train in April displayed their savagery in a video in which their abductees were being flogged mercilessly. It was perhaps a clear signal that we are dealing with a monstrous situation.

That was the zenith of the tension in the land last week when a relief came from a least expected source -sports.Oluwatobi Amusan was to bring an interlude to the chain of gloomy stories when she broke the ‘glass ceiling’, becoming Nigeria’s first-ever gold winner at World Athletics Championships.

The icing on the cake for her did not stop at the gold medal but her enviable setting of a world record in far-away Eugene, Oregon, United States of America where the grand event was held.        

Her performance came 90 minutes after she set a record time in the semi-finals with 12.12 seconds, which broke the 12.20 record of America’s Kendra Harrison, who finished behind Amusan in second place.·         

 Amusan finished in 12.06 seconds in the 100m hurdles final which would have broken her new world record, but her new record was ineligible as the wind speed was over the legal limit.

It is believed it is not her first medal in international meets. She has been making raves for a while but it was the best moment for her and country.

Our own Amusan, 25, had won Gold in 100 meters hurdles, setting a world record in the process. Indeed, she had set two records within 90 minutes, first in the semi-final race, and then in the final.

But the second was deemed wind-assisted, as the speed of the wind was above the legal limit.She had done what in ages never happened in our clime, suggesting that with doggedness and unwavering faith in self, no feat is unattainable.

She had won the first ever Gold medal for Nigeria in a World Athletics Championship. The flag of Nigeria was flapping proudly in the global skyline, and our National Anthem was resounding.

It was a great moment and a refreshing one to be Nigerian at that; it beckoned as a moment of relief, far from the foul air of anarchy in a nation being suffocated by disgusting news from across boundaries and sectors.

Her exploits have again rekindled the ‘I-can-do spirit’ in the Nigerian youth, contrary to perceptions even at the highest level of governance in which our youths have been dubbed lazy and unproductive. It gives them a fresh impetus to continue to believe in themselves.

It has also further amplified the perception that given the right ambience, Nigerian youths can favourably express themselves without letting out any emotion of inferiority.

She has become a contemporary reference point of what Nigerian youths represent and how they can turn around the nation’s battered image if our values and goals are redirected to accommodate them at all levels.

Anarchy, chaos and wanton brutality reigning in our nation today will not support our youth who are so invigorated and energetic looking for areas they could unleash their potentials.

We must think out the fastest way out of our current security challenges, towards fostering national cohesion and stability and as a corollary overall development.

I congratulate Oluwatobi and also Nigeria for this feat that has once again put us on the spot in the world athletics index. Interestingly, it is gratifying that her wins come with mouth-watering prizes beside the global acclaim that has accompanied her exploits.


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Hard TalkTobi AmusanWilliams Bassey Etuk