Olu Fasuba wins gold



Friday, 07 March 2008 A first for Africa as Fasuba wins 60m gold

Olusoji Fasuba stretches away from the rest of the field to win the men’s 60m title (Getty Images)

Breaking from a tightly-wound field just beyond the 40m point, Olusoji Fasuba sped to a dramatic 6.51 victory in the 60m, the first indoor short dash title for Nigeria and indeed for Africa.

It was the third 6.51 of the season for the 23-year-old, and the second on the day. Fittingly for the newly crowned World champion, nobody else in the world has run faster this year.

Feeling his calves cramping over the final stages, Fasuba fought on valiantly to hold off the closing charge of Briton Dwain Chambers and Kim Collins, who each were credited with a 6.54 and both awarded a joint silver medal.

“I felt very strong for this competition,” said Fasuba, who helped christen the Valencia track last month with another 6.51 performance. “The track was really good, I’m getting stronger and stronger and this is shown in my time today.”

Fasuba’s triumph, bringing him his first solo global medal of any colour, came at the conclusion of a day when he displayed the confident look of a champion, from his 6.64 in the opening round, to his commanding and extremely comfortable 6.51 in the semis.

Chambers’ runner-up finish came after a 6.55 in the semis, his second PB of the day, as Collins ran his fastest time of the season. The 2003 World 100m champion, was ecstatic with his medal – he claimed the silver already in 2003 – coming at the end of his first indoor season since 2005.

U.S. champion Michael Rodgers, who equalled his 6.54 PB in the semis, was just a few ticks slower, finishing fourth in 6.57 in his first international competition. A somewhat sluggish start might have cost him a medal.

Brazil’s Vicente de Lima was fifth (6.60) and Isaac Uche, Fasuba’s teammate, was a distant sixth in 6.63.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF


MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS to forum member PJ who is now also a Gold-Medal Coach! :cool:

wish the usa could have sent better comp for the 60m.


Way to go PJ!! World champion wow!

that’s pretty awesome. congratulations!! :smiley:

PJ - awesome work my friend. :smiley:

Congrats, PJ - VERY proud of you!!! Now for Olympic gold!!!

Congrats PJ and Olu :slight_smile:

Congratulations!!! :slight_smile:

Great job, PJ and Olu. Go for the medal in Bejing! :slight_smile:

nice win, and good luck ^ :wink:

i saw that race on BBC last night…he came from behind too, also he was still moving out…great run…

the women was a blow out…


Saturday, 08 March 2008 Hard working Fasuba believes World record is close

Olusoji Fasuba in the heats of the men’s 60m (Getty Images)

Valencia, Spain – After coasting through his semi in 6.51 seconds yesterday at Valencia’s Palau Velodromo Luis Puig, Olusoji Fasuba clearly appeared to be the man to beat in the World Indoor Championships final. Gliding comfortably over the final 20 metres, the 23-year-old Nigerian clearly had plenty in reserve.
But the final, as he can readily attest, is an entirely different animal. Champions need to think and react quickly when the unexpected arises. For Fasuba, that variable was cramping in his calves just as he began accelerating from the nearly even field just beyond the midway point.

“At about 40 metres I had the lead, but I got some cramps so I knew I had to fight more. I think I kind of missed a step at about half way and got a little cramp, but said, ‘No, this medal is yours, you’ve got to push. And it’s not going to leave you anymore.’”

He fought on valiantly to reach the line, for the third time this season, with a world-leading 6.51. The end result was the same as his performance in the semis, but the two runs were wildy different.

“I did a 6.51 easy (in the semis), and we all thought it was going to be a 6.4 in the final. But the final is always a little more tense, and we know that anything could happen. They were fast starters and I had to keep up with them. Because my reaction was not that quick. But I had a good turnover and I knew it was going to get better.”

So apparently did his coach, Pierre-Jean Vazel, whose words Fasuba took to heart midway through the race.

“Going into the final he told me, ‘You’ve worked very hard this year, you’ve produced a lot of good times in races, you produced a lot of good times in training.’ In the middle of the race when I was a little tense, I remembered the words of my coach and I pushed harder.”

Fasuba has collected his share of accolades since he began competing professionally in 2003. He took the African 100m title in 2004 and 2006, nabbed Commonwealth silver in 2006, and Olympic bronze in the 4x100m Relay in Athens in 2004. But Valencia provided his first medal of any sort on a truly global stage.

Now with his first global title finally under his belt, Fasuba said he’ll be better prepared, at least psychologically, as the focus turns to the outdoor season.

“It’ll make me go into the next training phase with a little happiness. Being a World champion has always been my dream. And I finally got it this year.”

Fasuba sprang to the international limelight after his dazzling 9.85 African record in Doha in the late spring of 2006, and while he’s remained competitive since, he hasn’t approached that sort of performance since. But he’s not particularly overburdened by chasing fast times.

“I don’t want to think about the African record,” he said. “I think about the World record more. But I try not to let it be a driving force to me, just let it come naturally. The African record came naturally to me. And I just need to find the rhythm, but I believe that it’s very close.”

Fasuba spends most of his time in Athens, where he maintains his year round training base. He enjoys the weather, his proximity to the sea, as well as Greek food.

“The beach is close to the stadium, and sometimes when I’m not training I go have some fun at the beach. Mainly just relaxing.”

But there will be little time for relaxation in the near future because his road to Beijing continues very seriously in about a month’s time at the Nigerian Olympic Trials.

“The trials are very soon, so I’ve got to change my gear as soon as possible and get ready for the 100.”

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF


I presume PJ is busy celebrating right now :stuck_out_tongue: but it would be interesting for me to see views from everyone on how such a short period of time until the Nationals would shift the training focus (i.e., from 60 m indoors to 100 m outdoors). Thoughts?

Going back over some of PJ’s prior offerings, it wouldn’t surprise me that more than a modest amount of SE work has been in place. With the height of post acceleration velocity Fasuba demonstrated, he must be quite close to that region they feel is necessary for nationals.

Great PJ and OLu, wish you the best…I suppose the prize for gold from NIgerian federation will be a teaspoon or something less…

Congratulations Pierre-Jean. I just caught the race on television.

An impressive win.

Continued success!

A PJ email says when the dust settles in Valencia and he gets a moment to himself he will try to write a “Postcard” for the forum.

I suspect the dust will be in the air for quite some time and, having spent time in Spain on two different occasions myself, I know the fiesta will last quite a while.