Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru was divinely inspired Saturday morning in Austin, Texas where he made history as the second Nigerian man after Olopade Adeniken (1992) and third African, after Namibia’s Frankie Frederick (1991) and Adeniken, to successfully complete a sprint double at the NCAA Division 1 Championships, Completesports.com reports.
The Nigerian began his quest by scorching to a new 9.86 seconds personal best in the 100m.The time is third joint fastest in the world as he equals Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman’s runs last month in Shanghai at the IAAF Diamond League meeting.
Oduduru’s time is just one hundredth of a second outside the 9.85 seconds African record set by Olusoji Fasuba in Doha, Qatar in 2006.
With Adeniken’s feat now a possibility, Oduduru raced to another personal best in the half lap race, stopping the clock at 19.73 seconds, a new Nigerian record. The time is third fastest in the world after Michael Norman and Lyles’ respective 19.70 and 19.72 seconds run at the Golden Gala Pietro Menea’s Diamond League meeting last Thursday in Rome, Italy.
Fasuba whose African record escaped the rampaging Oduduru congratulated the rave of the moment in a facebook post.
Fasuba also predicts more podium appearances for the new king of the track in American collegiate circuit.
“Congrats. He is close. Medals will start pouring in now. It’s your time to shine,” Fasuba wrote.
Respected athletics coach, Tony Osheku believes Oduduru is a genuine contender for a podium place in Doha in September at the IAAF flagship event, the World Championships in Athletics. The last time a Nigerian man mounted the podium in any sprint event at the championship was in 1999 when Francis Obiorah Obikwelu picked the 200m bronze medal after raising hopes of a first ever IAAF worlds gold for Nigeria following his 19.84 seconds incredible run in the semi finals.
“Divine has been very consistent and has proved he is now a sub 10 and sub 20 seconds man over the 100m and 200m respectively. That is a sign that he is up there among the best in the world, ” said Osheku who coached Falilat Ogunkoya to four straight IAAF worlds 400m final between 1995 and 2001. He also led Ogunkoya to win two Olympic medals and African records in Atlanta in 1966.
Osheku added: “Since Francis Obikwelu in 1999, this is the first time in 20 years we can safely say we have a man capable of making that long awaited podium appearance at the worlds.”
By Dare Esan