Hawkeye triple jumper Babatunde Amosu returns from tendon injury, wins Big Ten title


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Season-ending injuries in sports are devastating to the student-athletes who suffer them. Everything they had worked so hard to accomplish is suddenly gone, maybe for good.

However, once an injury does occur, the athletes have two choices. Give up, or put their trust in a comeback.

Junior triple-jumper Babatunde Amosu put his trust in a comeback. The result?

A Big Ten title.

“I didn’t believe it when I did it,” Amosu said. “It was surreal — to go out my first official meet and take the title was unbelievable.

“I just thank God, thank the team; everyone’s been really supportive toward the injury and everything.”

Amosu’s injury, a tear of his patellar tendon, sidelined him for the remainder of last season and the majority of indoor season as well.

His recovery was a long process, which included doing rehab work almost every day.

“From the day of the surgery I was taking care of it, seeing the trainers every day, taking medications,” Amosu said. “When I was able to hold myself, we started working — I was always at the sports medical center; we didn’t take any breaks.”

When he completed the process and was ready to compete again, his coach was not surprised.

“From the first time he got on campus I knew he was talented, I know he had a horrific injury, and we didn’t know if he would come back,” assistant coach Clive Roberts said. “To be honest, the things I’ve seen since he came back were better than the things I was seeing before the injury.”

His fast recovery was also not a surprise to fellow triple jumper Klyvens Delaunay. The sophomore was Amosu’s training partner last year, and the two grew close throughout the season.

“Seeing him go down was hard,” Delaunay said. “He recovered faster than I ever expected, and it was very inspirational. It motivated me to stay on my game, and watching him at the Big Ten meet — it was great to see someone who deserved that win come out with it.

“Watching him go through that struggle just showed how determined he was to come back.”

Delaunay finished third in the Big Tens and was an All-American last season for the Hawkeyes.

Both seek to make their mark this season, and both will head to the indoor national championships in Albuquerque, N.M.

“They did what they were supposed to do in the Big Ten meet,” Roberts said. “They’re two elite guys, one’s an All-American and one was, at the time, runner-up in the Big Ten.”

Regardless of how either or both do, the idea that Amosu can return to these heights is nothing short of incredible.

“If I described the amount of work we put into it, people wouldn’t believe it,” Amosu said. “I was just over the Moon, to be honest.”

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