Amusan smashes 100m hurdles world record to reignite super shoe debate | Athletics World Championships
Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan has reignited the debate over new super athletic shoes by unexpectedly breaking the 100m hurdles world record in Eugene.
On a night when Mondo Duplantis also broke his own pole vault world record, Amusan ran a staggering 12.12 seconds in his semi-final to beat Kendra Harrison’s old record by 0.08 seconds – smashing his personal best by almost three tenths of a second.
Immediately after the race, former 200m and 400m world record holder Michael Johnson wondered if the timing system at Hayward Field was off. He was far from alone. However, it turned out that Amusan got a boost by using Adidas Adizero Avanti shoes, which are designed for 5k and 10k runners, rather than track spikes.
After running even faster to claim gold in the final nearly two hours later, Amusan revealed that she accidentally got the idea to use the shoes, which have extra bouncy foam, after getting foot injury.
Adidas describes the Adizero Avanti as “like a fast forward” and promises the shoes “deliver a fast, propulsive ride with high traction and reduced fatigue, so you finish 5k and 10k races with a bang.” of foot”. There’s nothing illegal about the shoes, with current World Athletics rules stating that sprint spikes cannot have soles thicker than 20mm – such as the Adizero Avanti.
Until now, these shoes have always been used for long runs, but the benefits for Amusan were obvious as she flew over hurdles and into the record books. “My ability is not centered on the spikes,” said the Nigerian, who ran 12.06 in the final, only for the +2.5m/s wind speed to make him ineligible for record purposes.
“I had patellar fasciitis at the start of the season which set me back for a while,” added Amusan. “I spoke to Adidas and asked if I could get spikes with a softer sole. They recommended a lot of things and I feel comfortable in [the shoes]so I used them almost all the time.
The new breed of super shoe seems to be helping the hurdles events in particular, with Sydney McLaughlin also breaking the women’s 400m hurdles record wearing New Balance’s latest model earlier this week.
There was another world record in the final of these championships as Duplantis cleared 6.21m. The Swedish outfielder won another gold medal – and, like Amusan, left Eugene a bonus check for $100,000.
“I have to save the best for last,” said Duplantis, who beat closest rival Christopher Nielsen by an astonishing 27cm. “You get a bit of pressure on you when you’re the only person racing the whole track. It’s an honor when people stay in their place when there’s literally only me on the track. It was really a pleasure to jump there, honestly.
When asked how he was going to celebrate, the Olympic champion and world champion smiled. “I’ll probably stay up a little late,” he said. “These kinds of performances probably call for something fun.”
Earlier in the day, Jakob Ingebrigtsen made up for his 1500m loss to Jake Wightman with a dominant performance in the 5000m. The race was never fast enough to dull the Norwegian’s final speed, and he was able to take the lead with 900m to go and gradually pick up the pace before heading home.
Such was his dominance that he even got to celebrate by pointing his finger at the crowd and slowing down before crossing the line. “I didn’t want a sprint finish because I wanted to prove I’m the best,” said Ingebrigtsen, who beat Kenya’s Jacob Krop for silver by 0.74 sec. “It was a great race but I wanted and needed it. It was really amazing.
Elsewhere, German Olympic champion Malaika Mihambo continued her dominance in the women’s long jump by claiming a second consecutive world gold with a final leap of 7.12 metres.
Mihambo was close to leaving the competition after missing her first and second jumps but recovered well to register a valid third attempt of 6.98m. Nigeria’s Ese Brume took silver with 7.02m, while Brazil’s Leticia Oro Melo took bronze with a personal best 6.89m.
Subsequently, World Athletics revealed that the record for the number of countries winning gold medals in a championship had been broken, with 29 countries taking turns on the top step of the podium, up from 26 in 2017. Peru , Kazakhstan and Nigeria won their first gold medals, while India and Burkina Faso had their best performances ever winning silver.