Tobi Amusan, a Nigerian hurdler and World Athletics Championships record holder, claims her record-breaking 12:06 performance had nothing to do with her spike shoes.
Amusan’s response follows a string of mixed reactions to the Adidas Adizero Avanti shoes she wore during the 100m hurdles event at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on Sunday.
These amendments, approved by the World Athletics Council and implemented immediately, are the result of extensive consultations with the Working Group on Athletic Shoes and shoe manufacturers.
Changes to the maximum height of spiked shoes for track and field events, as well as the establishment of a ‘Athletic Shoe Availability Scheme’ for unsponsored elite athletes, are among them. The maximum height for road shoes remains unchanged (40mm).
Adidas Adizero Avanti sneakers
The Adidas Adizero Avanti ultralight racing shoes, which are made in part from recycled materials, are intended for 5-10 km races.
Adidas claims that the shoes reduce fatigue and help athletes finish their races with a bang.
While Amusan’s outstanding record has refocused attention on shoe technology, she maintains that her sprinting abilities have little to do with her shoes.
Due to the injury she had previously sustained, Amusan came up with the idea of wearing customized shoes with bouncy foam.
Oregon Amusan became the first Nigerian to win gold at the World Athletics Championships, shattering the previous world record in the 100m hurdles by 0.8 seconds.
The World Athletics Federation’s shoe regulations
Meanwhile, according to World Athletics Council rules, Amusan has not done anything illegal.
Since shoe technology became a hot topic last year, World Athletics has put measures in place to balance technological advancement and giving athletes an unfair advantage.
Current World Athletics regulations allow shoes to have a maximum thickness of 20-25mm depending on the event, with a maximum thickness of 40mm for road races.
Sprint spikes cannot have soles thicker than 20mm, which is what Amusan was wearing on Sunday, according to the World Athletics governing body.
From November 1, 2024, all athletic shoes in track and field events will have a sole thickness of 20mm and a stack height of 20mm, according to World Athletics.
In 2020, World Athletics will revisit its rules governing shoe technology in order to provide certainty to athletes preparing for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and to maintain the integrity of elite competition.