Michelle Jenneke speaks out as shoe controversy reaches Comm Games

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Michelle Jenneke and Tobi Amusan, pictured here in action before the Commonwealth Games.
Michelle Jenneke has addressed the dramas surrounding Tobi Amusan at the Commonwealth Games. Image: Getty

Aussie hurdler Michelle Jenneke has spoken out amid the dramas engulfing athletics over a world record holder's controversial shoes.

Tobi Amusan of Nigeria broke the women's world record in the 100m hurdles at the recent world championships in Oregon, before debate erupted about the shoes she was wearing.

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Amusan obliterated the world record and her PB while wearing Adidas Adizero Avanti shoes - usually worn by long-distance runners for 5-10 km races.

She set a new world record of 12.12 in the semi-final before an astonishing 12.06 in the final that was struck from the record books due to wind assistance.

American legend Michael Johnson was blown away by the insane times that Amusan produced, suggesting something was not right.

“I don’t believe the 100th times are correct,” he wrote on Twitter.

“All athletes looked shocked.”

Questions were then raised about the shoes she was wearing, which Adidas states “provide a snappy, propulsive ride with high traction and reduce fatigue, so you finish 5km and 10km races with a kick”.

Amusan later responded to the controversy, saying she switched to the new shoes because of a heel problem.

“My abilities are not centred around spikes,” she said.

“I had patella fasciitis at the beginning of the season so that set me back for a while. I spoke to Adidas and requested if I could get spikes with a softer sole.

"They recommended a lot of stuff and I feel comfortable in these, so I was using them basically the entire time.”

Tobi Amusan, pictured here after she broke the 100m hurdles record at the world championships.
Tobi Amusan's shoes were called into question after she broke the 100m hurdles record at the world championships. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Michelle Jenneke speaks out at Commonwealth Games

Jenneke, who ran a personal best of 12.66 in Oregon but didn't even make the final because of the lightning times, spoke out about the furore at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday.

“It was unbelievable. I still can’t believe I ran that fast,” she said.

“I keep going back looking at footage of the race and just going, ‘Oh my gosh, did I actually do that?’”

“I ran quite a PB in that race and ran in the same shoes that I have been running in for the last five years.

“I know I can’t attribute my PB to the shoes because it’s the same shoe, the same model of shoe.

Michelle Jenneke, pictured here in action at the world athletics championships in Oregon.
Michelle Jenneke in action at the world athletics championships in Oregon. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

"I have tried some of the newer spikes that they have coming out, the technology is amazing, and I’m sure people are faster but at the same time if you go back 10, 20 years, look at the shoes people were wearing, they were entirely different to what we were wearing five years ago. The technology is forever evolving.

“I don’t think we are seeing anything that is causing that much of a change that it needs to be questioned.

“World Athletics is constantly reviewing this, they do have a compliance list for the shoes, and they have to be checked. I don’t think there is a huge story personally and in terms of me there is definitely not.”

Jenneke appears to be finding her best form once again after a disappointing few years in which she failed to advance past the heats at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

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