By Dare Esan:
Stephen Mozia on Tuesday in Czech Republic improved the Nigerian shot put record for the second time in two days and third time this year.
Mozia, the Cornel University, USA Engineering graduate, threw a distance of 21.76m barely 48 hours after he threw 20.82m in Spain.
He had last May 7 in Lexington, Kentucky, USA improved his barely a year old national record to 20.73m. He has now become the first Nigerian to throw above the 21m mark (outdoor) in the event. This will be his second 21m plus in the event after throwing 21.11m indoors in January.
The two-time Nigeria champion in the shot put came into national reckoning in 2014 when, as a student in the USA, he broke Chima Ugwu’s 20.26n national record set on 22 July 2000 in Lagos.
He first threw a distance of 20.38m on May 29, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida,USA before improving it to 20.46m on June 11.
That same year he rewrote the national shot put indoor record with a throw of 20.79m and on Janury 30 in Nashville, Tennessee in the USA when he improved his national record to 21.11m
A former American junior international, Mozia changed allegiance to Nigeria in 2014, just in time for him to compete at the IAAF World Indoor Championships at the Sopot Arena in Poland where he failed to make the final.
He returned to the World Indoor Championships arena this year at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, USA and ended up in 12th place.
Last month he won a pair of bronze medals in the shot put and discus events at the 20th African championships in Athletics in Durban, South Africa.