The Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, has called on Nigerians to massively vote for Tobi Amusan as she bids to become the first Nigerian to be named World Athlete of the Year by World Athletics.
Amusan is among the 10 nominees revealed on Wednesday by World Athletics who are vying for the biggest athletics award in the world.
AFN President, Tonobok Okowa believes Amusan is not only deserving of the nomination but also deserves to be crowned the best in the world this year.
‘2022 has been a very successful year for Nigerian athletes and Tobi is the icing on the cake of the incredible season we have had,’ says Okowa who has superintended over a number of firsts since he took over as the head of the governing body for athletics in Nigeria.
‘The fact that Tobi was nominated is a positive development for us as a federation and a nation as no Nigerian athlete has ever made it to this level.
‘Now we need to go a step further by playing our part to see that our darling Tobi is crowned the best in the world come December,’ added Okowa who asked Nigerians to go to World Athletics social media platforms to vote.
‘It’s a three-way voting process that will determine the chances of Tobi and our votes will contribute a quarter of the total votes needed,’ he revealed.
The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics social media platforms.
Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; a ‘like’ on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or a retweet on Twitter will count as one vote.
The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50% of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25% of the final result.
Amusan made history in July when she became the first Nigerian to set a World record following the 12.12s she ran at the semifinals of the 100m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.
She went a step further in the final, running a wind-aided 12.06s to make history as the first Nigeria world outdoor champion.
‘Tobi has signposted the significant strides we have made in track and field since we came on board in June 2021.
‘We started by returning Nigerian athletics to the podium at the Olympics after a 13 year absence before achieving our best ever performance at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya,’ said Okowa.
Amusan began her streak of many firsts in September last year when she became the first Nigerian athlete in the Diamond League era to win a Diamond Trophy.
‘This year, we continued where we left off in 2021 with Ese Brume returning us to the World Indoor Championships podium in Belgrade, 14 years after we last did through Olusoji Fasuba.
‘This is coupled with the incredible feats our athletes achieved at collegiate meets in the USA.
‘Favour Ofili sets new Nigerian record in the 200m event (22.46 indoors and 21.96 outdoor), Nathaniel Ezekiel broke Henry Amike’s 35 year old Nigerian 400m hurdles record (48.42) and Nnamdi Chinecherem hurled a new Nigeria javelin record (81.22m).’