BIRMINGHAM: Tobi Amusan says she is “exhausted” after winning world gold in the 100m hurdles last month, but the Nigerian world record holder looked impressive on Friday as she headed to the Games final of the Commonwealth.
Amusan started the defense of his crown by finishing first in qualifying times in 12.40sec, in windy conditions.
“The mental part is there and the physical part is also over,” Amusan said.
“But I was so exhausted after those championships.
“I’m just trying to hang in there and finish the season strong.” The 25-year-old Nigerian – who sported the ‘No Plastic Waste’ logo on her tracksuit – should be unstoppable.
However, there is a group of rivals that might trouble her.
Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper progressed serenely, winning her heat in 12.68sec.
The other two potential challengers, the English Cindy Sember and the Jamaican Danielle Williams, are trying to revive their careers.
Sember, who failed to capitalize on her fourth-place finish in the 2016 Olympic final, looked more like herself as she crossed her run in 12.67 seconds.
She showed off a clean pair of heels for Williams, 29, who won the world title in 2015.
For Sember, born in the United States, it was a nice way to celebrate her 28th birthday. “Celebrations probably have to stay on hold for the most part,” she said.
“I can eat a bit of anything I like but I will definitely have to wait until after the next race (the final on Sunday) when I hope to get a medal.”
Scotland’s Laura Muir has a grueling schedule ahead of her – the 800m final on Saturday and then the 1500m 24 hours later.
The 29-year-old, like Amusan, is in Birmingham after competing at the world championships in Eugene, Oregon, where she won bronze in the 1,500m to add to her Olympic silver medal in that event.
Muir is determined to win a first Commonwealth medal – she said it was “unfinished business” before the competition started.
But Saturday’s 800m final could be a big ask as it faces stiff opposition from Olympic and world silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson as well as world bronze medalist Kenya Mary Moraa. Muir finished fifth in his heat, with the top five in each race guaranteeing a place in the final.