Nigerian sprinter, Tobi Amusan has brought to public knowledge how her father frustrated her efforts during her early days in the sport.
Amusan, who broke a world record early Monday at the World Athletics Championships holding in Oregon, USA, said her father burnt her training gear at one time.
The 25-year-old clinched the goal medal in the women’s 100m hurdles event, but had earlier clinched a world record 12.12 seconds in the semi-finals.
She also becomes the first Nigerian to win a world championship gold medal, as the country’s national anthem was played at the championships for the first time ever.
Speaking to BBC Sport Africa, Amusan recounted her experience while growing up in her parents’ house.
“My parents are both teachers, they are strict disciplinarians,” Amusan said.
“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 had finished in fourth place at the 2019 World Athletics Championships as well as at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but her persistence finally gave her a crown.
She added: “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.”
Meanwhile, several reactions have trailed Amusan’s tweet from November 2016, which reads: “Unknown now but soon I will be unforgettable, I will persist until I succeed.”
The tweet has remained pinned to the top of her social media profile and provides a summary of her rise to glory.
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