The sporting world and indeed the globe at large has been severely distorted by the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
One after the other, top sporting events have either been postponed or cancelled outright. Top on the list was the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which could have started a few months’ down the line but has now been moved to 2021.
In this interview with PREMIUM TIMES’ Tunde Eludini, reigning African and Commonwealth 100m Hurdles Champion, Tobi Amusan, speaks on how devastated she was due to the inevitable postponements and how life has been during this COVID-19 lockdown.
PT: After starting the season with some good races, the coronavirus pandemic has affected everything presently. How are you coping, staying indoors to train and all of that?
Amusan – Honestly, it’s not easy at all but that is the reality on the ground. I have been practising around my complex and also doing other stuff in my living room. There is no access to any facilities whatsoever at this moment.
PT: Some Athletics Federations across the world like South Africa, Ethiopia, among others, are giving their athletes some form of financial assistance to cushion the effect of losses from the COVID-19. Is there any promise or actual donation yet from Nigeria through the AFN or Ministry?
Amusan: I’m unaware of any fund relating to the assistance towards the ongoing pandemic.
PT: There have been postponements of many events including the Olympic Games, how do you feel about that, any physiological effect from this postponement or it is just fine by you?
Amusan: I was extremely devastated when I saw the news regarding the postponement (of the Olympic Games); sincerely, I shed few tears because; as an athlete so much has been invested in the preparation of all competitions which was scheduled to hold in 2020 but God knows best and who am I to question him? My mental and physical state of mind is still intact.
PT: Now the Olympic Games and many other events have been postponed to 2021; are you afraid of the crowded calendar or how do you intend solving this challenge?
Amusan – I’d let God take charge; no pressure, my coach, management and I will definitely come up with decisions on how to approach each season(s).
PT: The Ministry of Sports tried an Adopt an Athlete programme in the build-up to the Olympic Games to help elite athletes like you secure funds. Have you been adopted by any individual or organisation and is the arrangement going on well?
Amusan: I was aware after the adoption was done that I am among the lucky athletes who got adopted. But up until now I’m yet to know who adopted me; at least so I can show my gratitude towards the management. I appreciate the Honorable Minister, Mr Sunday Dare, for coming up with this brilliant idea. On the other hand, I wasn’t given the full details on who adopted me but, got series of messages asking me to send my account details which I did and I’m yet to receive any funds.
PT: Many have continually tipped you to break the longstanding record of Gloria Alozie; do you see that happening anytime soon?
Amusan – Unto HIM who has been my pillar (God); it will happen in HIS timing! No pressure whatsoever.
PT: Beyond athletics, what else are you passionate about and how is life for you outside the tracks?
Amusan: I am passionate about Godliness, self-growth, mindfulness and uplifting others and for my life outside track, my life is strictly introvert; I watch movies, brainstorm ideas, dance, sleep and also cook.