Folorunso Eyes 400m Hurdles Crown After Italian Record

Nigerian-born Italian hurdler, Ayomide Folorunso, has turned her attention to winning her first senior championship after breaking her own Italian national record in the women’s 400m hurdles on Tuesday at the World Athletics Championship in Budapest.

The 26-year-old ran 53.89secs to place fourth in the third semi-final and booked her place in Friday’s final as one of the fastest non-automatic qualifiers.

Her new record is 33 mile-seconds faster than her previous record of 54.34secs. The elated Folorunso could not hide her joy after breaking the 54secs wall.

“I’ve been dreaming about this sub-54 for a very long time, and I wasn’t sure it was going to be this year. I just thank God for everything,” she told Making of Champions after the race.

Read Also: Ofili, Akintola advance to 200m semis at Budapest 2023

“What I wanted was to leave with no regrets and feel I left it all on the tracks, and if I didn’t make the final, I would appreciate God for enabling me to do my best.

“When I was in the call room, I didn’t want to see what others were doing, I was in lane five and in the best positions possible, so I was just like this is the moment to be brave, fearless and just go for it.”

Folorunso, who is currently ranked 12th in the world, will be running in the final on Friday and will face competition from another Nigerian-born Bahrain hurdler, Kemi Adekoya, among other contenders.

“Hard work doesn’t finish, this world level, you cannot rest. There is nothing like I did well, let me rest, it doesn’t exist. It’s just to enjoy the result today and know it’s a stepping stone to doing better. The final was difficult and not impossible. I just thank God I’m in the final and we will see,” she said.

Folorunso is a one-time European U-23 champion and has been in the top eight at the World Championships, as well as the Olympic Games.

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