By: Nina Huang
Do you know your sports? If yes, then you may have heard of hurdling. If no, keep reading. Hurdling is a sport that consists of leaping over hurdles—and running like the wind in between leaps. This past July at the World Track-and-Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, something amazing happened: Tobi Amusan of Nigeria beat the world record for the women’s 100-meter hurdles by finishing the semifinals race in just 12.12 seconds! That’s what you call a fast record.
Yep, you heard me. 12.12 seconds. As a bonus for finishing with a great time, Amusan also beat a record-holding 12.20 seconds by Kendra Harrison (of the United States)! These times are both examples of supersonic speed, but Amusan officially holds the new record. The athlete’s feat stunned everyone—even herself. At least her efforts paid off. “The 200- and 400-meter legend Michael Johnson, who was working the worlds as a BBC television commentator, led the charge of doubt over the times, which the meet’s own social media accounts labeled, apparently unironically, ‘unbelievable,’” NY News stated. Lucky for Amusan, she also beat her own personal-best time by just 0.28 seconds! Her previous record was 12.40.You can probably tell that the semifinals race was not an easy one to win. The other women competing were extremely fast, too, and some of them ran their personal-best times, but in the end, Amusan won the finals race, too. And guess what? Amusan ran even faster in the final! She achieved a gold medal and her time was 12.06 seconds! Sadly, the time did not count as a new world record because it was wind-aided, which means that a strong wind helped to push the hurdlers along during this race.
I wonder if, the next time Tobi Amusan runs the 100-meter hurdles, she might be able to break her own record with no help from the wind—or will another athlete be able to break it?