An amazing world record runs into one question: Was it so amazing?

Nigeria’s Tobi Amosen set a world record in the women’s 100-meter hurdles at the World Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., on Sunday. This in itself was not surprising: world records often fall at major events.

What raised eyebrows, however, was not the result but the margin by which Amosan broke the record, and the sheer number of personal and national records set by competitors in the event.

Runners placing fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth in Amosen’s heat, a semi-final, also ran their best times. The other three runners ran best times of the year.

Even Amosin Looked shocked When he saw his time — 12.12 seconds — on the stadium scoreboard.

Amusan’s time of 12.12 broke the old record of 12.20, held by American Kendra Harrison from 2016, by 0.08 of a second — a huge drop in an event often decided by the best of margins. The four recent world records in the event, for example, beat the previous marks by 0.01, 0.04, 0.01 and 0.03 seconds.

The last time the record fell by such a large margin was in 1980.

The confluence of fleet times led some to wonder if there was something wrong with the timing system, or even with the wind gauge, which showed a wind speed of 0.924 m/s at the start of the race, which was 2.0 is within legal limits.

Could all the hurdlers have run such personal bests at the same time? At least one expert wasn’t so sure.

200- and 400-meter legend Michael Johnson, who was working in the world as a BBC television commentator, led the skepticism over time, which Matt’s own social media accounts apparently confirmed. Irrationally, “Unbelievable

“I don’t believe 100 hours is accurate,” he wrote on Twitter. “World record broken by .08! 12 PB sets. 5 national records set.

Johnson noted that at least one runner, Britain’s Cindy Sember, had suggested she felt she was slowing down. “All the athletes were shocked,” Johnson added.

(The men’s equivalent race, the 110-meter hurdles, had only one personal best in the semifinals and one in the final.)

Amosen’s time was also unusually fast for him: 0.28 of a second faster than his previous best time of 12.40, set in the heat on Saturday. This improvement represented an astonishing margin in such a short race.

The second and third semi-finals of the women’s 100m were also fairly fast, although not as much as the first. In the other semifinal, the top five finishers set or equaled their personal bests. There were two personal bests and three more season bests in the third semi-final.

And it’s hard to compare the fast semi-final times to the final two hours later, as the wind was at the runners’ backs for the race at 2.524 m/s. Amosan won the gold medal in an even faster time—12.06 seconds—but that mark would not count as a record because it was considered airborne.

While her semifinal time was shocking, there was no question that the 25-year-old Amosen was capable of winning the championship. After winning the NCAA title at Texas-El Paso, she won gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2021 Diamond League Finals. She finished fourth in the finals of the Tokyo Olympics last year. Johnson even noted that he predicted she would win.

But perhaps because his gold was Nigeria’s first in any event at a world championships, Johnson’s skepticism was pushed far enough on Twitter, with some comparing him to an African athlete, Amusin. Accused of bias against, which broke the record of an American.

After briefly mixing with it Many The critics Online, Johnson eventually rejected accusations of bias, writing: “My job as an observer is to comment. Questioning the times of 28 athletes (not 1 athlete) wondering if there was an error in the timing system. Yes, I have been attacked, accused of racism, and for questioning the talent of a player I respect and predict will win. Unacceptable I move on.”