In a stunning upset in Budapest on Thursday, Jamaica’s Danielle Williams claimed victory in the world women’s 100m hurdles, dethroning defending champion Tobi Amusan.
Williams, a 30-year-old athlete who had previously triumphed in Beijing in 2015, clocked an impressive time of 12.43 seconds. This edged out the Olympic champion, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico, who finished in 12.44 seconds, and secured Kendra Harrison of the United States the bronze medal with a time of 12.46 seconds.
Amusan, the defending champion, and the 2019 winner, Nia Ali, struggled to stay competitive, finishing in sixth and last place, respectively. It’s worth noting that Amusan had faced a provisional suspension due to doping violations, which was subsequently lifted before the championship.
Last month, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) had provisionally suspended the Nigerian track and field athlete following three missed whereabouts failures. This suspension came after it was discovered that Amusan had failed to comply with three drug tests within a 12-month period. Notably, this violation carried a two-year suspension, regardless of whether the athlete had previously failed a drug test.
In the end, the Disciplinary Tribunal issued a verdict declaring, “Tobi Amusan did not breach an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) by having three Whereabouts Failures within a 12-month period.”
During the Thursday final, Danielle Williams, competing from the outsider’s lane two, made a remarkable surge at the last hurdle, closely challenging Camacho-Quinn and Harrison.
Nevertheless, Williams summoned a little extra strength to claim victory over her more highly favored competitors. For Camacho-Quinn, this marked a one-place improvement compared to her performance from the previous year.
“I’m not upset at all,” said the 27-year-old. “I can be grateful with that silver. After I won a bronze at the last world championships now I have a silver.
“If I add my Olympic gold medal I have the whole collection to be proud of.”
Camacho-Quinn, only Puerto Rico’s second ever Olympic champion, said to come second in one of the strongest fields of all time was a privilege.
“This final was packed with talents and I was defeated by just a tenth of a second so I don’t have any bitter feelings,” she said.
Once again, Harrison experienced the bitter disappointment of a final.
Despite the 30-year-old former world record holder setting a world-leading time of 12.24 seconds in her heat, she couldn’t replicate that form in the final. As a result, Harrison secured a bronze medal to add to her collection of two silvers (from the Olympics and previous world championships).
In another surprising turn of events at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Thursday, Jamaica’s Antonio Watson emerged as the victor in the men’s 400m, defeating a highly competitive field.
The 21-year-old Watson executed a perfectly-timed effort down the home straight, clocking an impressive time of 44.22 seconds. Matthew Hudson-Smith from Britain claimed the silver medal with a time of 44.31 seconds, while American Quincy Hall secured the bronze in 44.37 seconds.