Former World U20 champion Udodi Onwuzurike has made history as the first Nigerian man to qualify for the final of the Commonwealth Games 200m in 16 years.
The 19-year-old ran 20.59 seconds to win his semifinal heat ahead of Cameroun’s Emmanuel Eseme who came second in 20.69 seconds.
The other two Nigerians in the event failed to advance to the final with Alaba Akintola placing fifth (21.16s) in the first semifinal heat won by homeboy Zhanna Hughes (20.32s).
The third Nigerian, Ifeanyi Ojeli ran 21.39 seconds to finish sixth in the third semifinal heat.
Onwuzurike is now the first man to qualify for the final of the event since the duo of Uchenna Emedolu and Enefiok Udobong ran in the final of the half-lap event at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, placing sixth (20.66s) and seventh (20.69s) respectively.
Nigeria is yet to present a champion in this event at the Commonwealth Games with a pair of the bronze medal the best showing so far.
David Ejoke won the first bronze in 1966 in Kingston, Jamaica when the athletes ran over 220 yards and Daniel Effiong won the second bronze medal 28 years later in 1994.
Onwuzurike could be eyeing history as the first Nigerian man to win the 200m Commonwealth Games gold.
By Dare Esan in Birmingham
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