Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan broke the women’s 100m hurdles world record en route to winning gold at the World Championships on Sunday, reigniting the debate around super shoes.
It came on the same day that Armand Duplantis surpassed his own world record in the pole vault, clearing a height of 6.21m and winning gold.
Amusan, 25, broke the 100m hurdles record when she ran a time of 12.12 seconds in her semifinal in Eugene, Oregon.
She then bettered that in the final when she crossed the line in 12.06 seconds to claim gold, but the record was ruled ineligible as the wind speed exceeded the legal limit.
“The goal was to come out and to win this gold,” Amusan said.
“I believe in my abilities but I was not expecting a world record at these championships. You know, the goal is always just to execute well and get the win. So the world record is a bonus.”
Amusan said of her world record in the semifinals: “I could not believe it when I saw it on the screen after the semis. But it was just a matter of time.”
Four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson questioned the timing system after that semifinal, before it emerged that Amusan had been wearing Adidas shoes designed for distance runners. Johnson later said on social media that he his comments had been in reference to the times of the entire field, rather than just about Amusan.
The Nigerian denied that the shoes had given her an advantage, however, saying: “My abilities are not centred around spikes.
“I had patella fasciitis [a type of tendonitis in the arch of the foot] 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. They recommended a lot of stuff and I feel comfortable in [the shoes], so I was using them basically the entire time.”
Meanwhile, Duplantis had already clinched the pole vault gold medal when he beat the previous record of 6.20m, which he set at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, in March.
It was the Swede’s third world record this year and his fifth overall, while he was able to complete his collection of gold medals, having now won titles at the Olympics, World Championships, World Indoor Championships, World Junior Championships, World Youth Championships and European Championships — the first pole vaulter to have done so.
“Actually, I did not think about the record that much today,” Duplantis, 22, said. “Usually, it is always somewhere in the back of my mind but today I was really focused on the win and I really wanted to win the gold so badly. It was the medal I was missing.
“So when I was on this height, it was like everything came together and it happened from there. I love jumping in Eugene and it was amazing here.”
Information from Reuters contributed to this report.