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Michael Johnson has been accused of ‘black racism’ after questioning Nigerian athlete Tobi Amusan’s time when she broke the world record for the 100m hurdles.
Track and field fans have accused track legend Michael Johnson of ‘black racism’ for questioning the validity of Nigerian sprinter Tobi Amusan’s world record.
At the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on Sunday, the 100-meter hurdler won in 12.12 seconds, breaking Kendra Harrison’s 2016 world record by 0.08 seconds.
Amusan was one of a slew of athletes who broke world records or set personal bests in the women’s 100m hurdles alone.
Twelve of the 24 semi-finalists in the three races set personal best times, and Johnson was skeptical of the times set in the stadium.
THE RECORDS HAVE BEEN BROKEN IN
SEMI-FINALS OF THE WOMEN’S 100M HURDLES
Tobi Amusan WR 12.12
Anderson, Britany 12.31 NR
Armstrong, Alia 12.43 PB
Charlton, Devynne 12.46 NR
Sember, Cindy 12.50 NR
Megan Tapper’s PB is 12.52.
Pia Skrzyszowska PB 12.62
Michelle Jenneke’s personal best is 12.66.
12.70 PB Ditaji Kambundji
Michelle Harrison’s personal best is 12.74.
12.82 NR Mako Fukube
Fourie, Marione 12.93 PB
*WR stands for World Record, PB stands for Personal Best, and NR stands for National Record.
The 54-year-old, who won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championship gold medals during a stellar track and field career, took to Twitter after seeing how many athletes appeared surprised by their own times.
He wrote, ‘I don’t believe 100h (100m hurdles) times are correct.’
‘A world record has been broken by.
08! 12 PBs (personal bests) established. Five national records have been set. And a quote from Cindy Sember following her PB/NR
‘I thought I was running slow!’ (national record) All of the athletes appeared stunned [sic].
‘We were first shown the winning time of 12.53 in Heat 2. It shows 12.43 seconds later. By rounding down. 01 is acceptable, but.10 is not.’
Amusan won the world title in an even faster time later that day at Hayward Field, but the time did not count toward records because of a strong tailwind.
Fans took to social media to attack Johnson for mentioning Amusan’s world record, with one accusing him of ‘black racism.’
Slim Daddy, a Twitter user, wrote: ‘Michael Johnson Is this your natural state, or do you have to work at it?
‘Why don’t you direct your energy toward recovering from your stroke, Black Racist!’
‘Tobi Amusan is a world record holder and there’s nothing you can
One Twitter user claimed Johnson – who now commentates for the BBC – might have been seeking revenge after USA were stripped of the 4x100m Olympic title in 2000 and Nigeria took gold instead.
‘The US 4x400m team that had Michael Johnson was stripped of the Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medal because Antonio Pettigrew confessed that he doped during the competition,’ the Tweet read.
‘The Nigerian team was eventually awarded the gold medal. Do you understand his bitterness now?’
Johnson, who was also labeled ‘pathetic’, branded the backlash he received ‘unacceptable’ and pointed out that he did not only question Amusan’s time.
He wrote later on his Twitter account: ‘The level of dumbassery coming across my feed right now is truly staggering!
‘As a commentator my job is to comment. In questioning the times of 28 athletes (not 1 athlete) by wondering if the timing system malfunctioned.
‘I was attacked, accused of racism, and of questioning the talent of an athlete I respect and predicted to win. Unacceptable. I move on.’