The current World, Commonwealth and African champion in the 100 m hurdles, Tobi Amusan has given an insight into her successful stink on the track last year.
The 25-year-old hurdler had a triumphant outing in 2022 and became the first Nigerian world champion in an athletics event, when she won the 2022 World Championships 100m hurdles gold medal and setting the current world record of 12.12secs.
In a video chat with Justin Tuckey, the Ogun-born hurdler said she trained hard and prepared herself mentally before any race, noting that it helped her stay focused.
“We put our bodies through six hours of training every day for six days a week. And you can be the fittest person in a race and mentally you just get distracted by the other runners on the tracks. A few moments of that ruin everything. And with my kind of event, you need 100 per cent focus,” Amusan said.
So, the mental part is just as important, if not more, because you have done the work by training hard and now you show up at the track. Sometimes, it’s not about who is the toughest. I have been in every championship finals and it’s not about the toughest, but who wants it and can relax and execute in most of the race scenarios.
“Most times when I train, I do my little talking in my head to prepare myself mentally. What I do in training is what I do on the tracks. So, when you see me out there, I am not crazy, I do this every day, especially when I have lots of hurdle practices.
“I say to myself, ‘you are the best, you have to do it.’ That self-affirmation, like talking in your head, kind of gets you going, but the time you get on the track, I know what to say to calm myself down and not put myself under unnecessary pressure. It’s really important to be mentally tough.”