Tobi Amusan, the current holder of the women’s 100-meter hurdles world record, thinks that quality training and grassroots development initiatives can help the nation produce more world-class athletes.
NewsReport that peaking in Lagos at a banquet organized in her honor by the entertainment company The Plug, dubbed “Tobi Amusan’s Homecoming,” she attributed the departure of great athletes from Nigeria to other nations to the benefits such countries provide for sportsmen.
“Grassroots sports development is something we lack here and the reason we often lose our top athletes to other countries of the world.
“From my experience training in the United States, if we can have such development here, we can groom young talents and unearth more Tobi Amusans,” she said.
On the recent ratification of her record by World Athletics, Amusan said: “That my world record was ratified by the world body means that I am drug-free and that I am clean. I feel great about it. Every time I am on the track, my eyes are always set on how to win and I execute it by winning.”
She also spoke on the recent reception by the Federal Government, saying, “It is a great feeling that we were recognized by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In as much as we did the work, it was an honour that they took into account and they recognized the fact that we did the nation proud. It is such a great feeling getting the national honor.”
She acknowledged the support she got after her world record feat, with her followers on Twitter rising from 3000 to 150,000 under 24 hours, saying it showed that people appreciate what she is doing.
On the criticism by men’s 400 meters world record holder, Michael Johnson, after her record-breaking race in Oregon, U.S, Amusan said she was not bothered. “Honestly, I kept doing my thing because, after the World Championships, I had other competitions to attend. I don’t dwell on negativity… I look on the bright side of the sport.”
At the event, Flutterwave, which used the occasion to declare it has signed a multi-year partnership deal with Amusan, said: “It is very difficult to find athletes who embody our core values the way Tobi does.”
Plug Sports, a leading Nigerian-based sport management company owned by The Plug, currently manages Amusan and operates as a division of The Plug Entertainment, and a subsidiary of The Plug.
The sporting division of The Plug Entertainment led by Lanre Vigo currently manages sports personalities that include Henry Onyekuru, Asisat Oshoala, and Clement Ugah.