The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Monday described the feat achieved by Nigerian sprinters at Eugene, Oregon, as a dawn of new era for Nigerian athletics.
Dare, in a statement in Lagos on Monday, commended the feat of the duo of Nigerian sprinters, Tobi Amusan and Ese Bruno at the World Athletics Championships.
It was reported that Nigeria’s 25-year old Amusan broke the world record time as she won the 100m hurdles in Oregon on Sunday with a record of 12:12. She thus becomes Nigeria’s first ever World Champions in athletics.
Amusan dusted former world record holder Keni Harrison of the U.S., with the previous record of 12:20 which was set in 2016.
Dare said he was delighted about the winning and feat achieved by the Nigerian sprinters.
“I am so proud of what Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume and even those who didn’t get on the podium have achieved in Eugene, Oregon.
“This is the beginning of great things for Nigerian athletics. This is a new dawn.
“Years of hard work and consistently knocking on the door has yielded the right dividends. For the first time in our history we have a World Champion. This is huge. Congratulations to Nigeria,” he said.
The Minister also highlighted a few other positive results for Team Nigeria even though they did not end in podium finishes.
“For me, these medals are not the only positives from the World Championships. The 4×100m relay teams (men and women)showed a lot of promise for the future.
“The women barely got here as the 16th best team in the world but they got so close to getting on the podium, the men also gave it their best shot and showed they have a bright future.
“Our athletes in the short sprints also showed character. Some of them are competing on a high level stage like this.
“For the first time, we are rubbing shoulders with very experienced and tournament tested veterans and legends and not falling too far behind in extremely tough situations,” Dare said.
He added: “They can beat their chests and be proud of what they have achieved. We now have the responsibility to continue to support them by creating the right environment for their growth.
“With the World Championships now over, focus would shift to the Commonwealth Games, starting later this week in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
“We have gained a great momentum going into the Commonwealth Games now, this will definitely inspire Team Nigeria to making a huge impact in Birmingham,” Dare said.
Nigeria’s Brume closely followed Amusan’s feat at the same World Athletics Championships, winning a silver medal in the women’s long jump with a leap of 7.02m.