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Tobi Amusan pushes back on shoe technology claims, Michael Johnson accused after comments

Tobi Amusan world record in the 100m hurdles has been dragged in the shoe technology spotlight, while Michael Johnson was accused of black racism.

Tobi Amusan of Nigeria poses with her world record in the Women's 100m Hurdles
Tobi Amusan of Nigeria poses with her world record in the Women's 100m Hurdles Semi-Final on day ten of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 at Hayward Field on July 24, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for World Athletics)

EUGENE, Oregon (July 25) — Tobi Amusan has pushed back on suggestions that her world record-breaking performance in the women’s 100m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships 2022 on Sunday was aided by her footwear.

The Nigerian stunned the world when she whizzed to 12.12 seconds to shatter Kendra Harrison’s previous world record time of 12.20 secs in the semi-finals of the event in Oregon and returned a little under two hours to run a wind-aided 12.06 secs (2.5 m/s) in the final to win her first global title.

Her record-smashing performance was immediately dragged into the spotlight of shoe technology. Read more: Tobi Amusan sets stunning 12.12 secs 100m hurdles world record

However, the 25-year-old who was wearing Adidas Adizero Avanti shoes designed for runners who compete in 5-10 km races –customized with bouncy foam due to an injury, dismissed claims that her footwear assisted her brilliant run.

“My abilities are not centered around spikes,” Amusan told The Guardian.

“I had patella fasciitis at the beginning of the season so that set me back for a while.

“I spoke to Adidas and requested if I could get spikes with a softer sole,” she added.

“They recommended a lot of stuff and I feel comfortable in that, so I was using them basically the entire time.”

What did Michael Johnson say about Tobi Amusan world record time?

Meanwhile, American sprint legend Michael Johnson was left staggered by the superfast performances of Amusan and even presented the idea that the time on the clock was not correct. Read more: Watch Tobi Amusan run super-fast 12.06 secs for 100m hurdles – Albeit wind-aided – World Championships

“I don’t believe 100h times are correct,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “World record broken by .08! 12 PBs set. 5 National records set. And Cindy Sember quote after her PB/NR “I thought I was running slow!” All athletes looked shocked.”

Johnson, who was working as part of the BBC commentary team, revealed that his statement caused a stir, revealing that “I was attacked [and] accused of racism.”

He wrote: “As a commentator, my job is to comment. In questioning the times of 28 athletes (not 1 athlete) by wondering if the timing system malfunctioned, I was attacked, accused of racism, and of questioning the talent of an athlete I respect and predicted to win.

“Unacceptable. I move on.”

About The Author

Gary Smith || World-Track Content Manager and Lead Reporter

Gary Smith is one of the leading writers for He has over 20 years of running experience, as well as 12 years of coaching while covering several events, from the international to college level. Smith, who has covered events for publications such as Caribbean Net News, European Athletics, Cayman Net News, AFP, and Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), is also a frequent contributor of and Smith holds a degree in Communication and Journalism. Twitter | LinkedIn | News Break Writer

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