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Okowa leads campaign to vote for Tobi Amusan

Tobi Amusan

The President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa, is leading the campaign for massive vote from Nigerians to aid Tobi Amusan’s dream of becoming the first Nigerian to be named World Athlete of the Year by World Athletics. A statement by the Senior Media Relations Manager at World Athletics, Maggie Durand, to The Guardian, listed Amusan among the 10 nominees vying for the biggest athletics award in the world. The ceremony holds in December.

The Nigerian 100 meters hurdler will battle other top athletes, including Jamaica’s speed star, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, America’s Chase Ealey, Kimberly Garcia (Peru), Shericka Jackson (Jamaica), Faith Kipyegon (Kenya) and Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bahrain).

Amusan made big headlines across the globe in July this year, when she broke the World Record twice on her way to winning the gold medal in the 100 metres hurdles.

A few days after setting a world 100 metres hurdles record of 12.12 seconds at the World Championship at Oregon, United States, Amusan clinched a gold medal at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in England before adding the Diamond League gold medal in Zurich.

Amusan, born on April 23, 1997, is the African 100 meters hurdles champion. She had finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics and was also a fourth-place finisher at the 2019 World Championships held in Doha, Qatar. The Ogun State-born Amusan, who won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as 2017 NCAA champion, could become the first Nigerian to win the World Athletics Athlete of the Year award.

Speaking on her nomination for the award, Amusan said that she was honoured to have been considered among the best 10 women in the world for the outgoing year.

“Through the grace of God, I have achieved so many ‘firsts by a Nigerian’ and this is yet another one. I am so honoured to be selected as a World Athlete of the Year Nominee and the first Nigerian ever to reach this height. I have twice been named Nigerian Athlete of the Year by Athletic Heat platform but this is my first international nomination and I want us to win it,” the athlete wrote on her Facebook wall.

A three-way voting process will determine the finalists. The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics social media platforms.
Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; a ‘like’ on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or a retweet on Twitter will count as one vote.

The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50 percent of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25 percent of the final result. Voting for the World Athletes of the Year closes at midnight on Monday, October 31. At the conclusion of the voting process, five women and five men’s finalists will be announced by World Athletics. The winners will be revealed on World Athletics’ social media platforms in early December.

FOR the AFN boss, Nigerians have a great role to play by voting massively for Amusan to become the first Nigerian to be named World Athlete of the Year by World Athletics.

Okowa believes Amusan is not only deserving of the nomination, but also merits to be crowned the best in the world this year.

“2022 has been a very successful year for Nigerian athletes and Tobi is the icing on the cake of the incredible season we have had,” Okowa stated yesterday. The fact that Tobi was nominated is a positive development for us as a federation and a nation, as no Nigerian athlete has ever made it to this level. Now we need to go a step further by playing our part to see that our darling Tobi is crowned the best in the world, come December,” he added.

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