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Budapest 2023: Amusan eases into hurdles semis

World women’s 100m hurdles champion and record holder, Tobi Amusan, returned to the tracks with a bang and is on course to successfully defending her title, after easing into the semi-finals of the event at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Tuesday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

In what was her first race since July 17, when she was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit for missing three whereabouts tests, the Nigerian made light work of the heat, winning in a time of 12.48 secs. Though she started slowly, Amusan showed no signs of being out of competitive action for about a month as she displaced Jamaican champion Megan Tapper, who was second in 12.51secs.

Her time was the third fastest in the heats, behind Bahamas’ Devynne Charlton, who ran a new national record of 12.44secs and Kendra Harrison, who also produced a world lead 12.24secs.

Amusan’s last race before the World Championships was at the Silesia Diamond League in Poland July 17, where she ran her season’s best 12.34secs to win the race.

Amusan will return to the tracks Wednesday (today) for the semi-finals, in her quest to retain the title she won in 2022 in Oregon, USA.

The hurdler will run on lane seven in the second of three semi-finals at 7:53pm Nigerian time. The first two from each race plus two other fastest times will make it into Thursday’s final.

Some other contenders still in the race are Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and USA’s Nia Ali.

Amusan’s participation at this year’s championship was in doubt until last Thursday, when she was cleared by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

The body lifted the suspension on her after a panel of the Disciplinary Tribunal, by majority decision, found her not guilty of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation of three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period.

The decision was a relief for Nigerians and she also expressed her eagerness to return to the track in Budapest.

“I am thrilled to put this behind me, and I look forward to defending my title at the World Championships. I generally have been and consistently will be an ally of clean sport,” her statement read in part.

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