Reigning World U20 champion, Udodi Onwuzurike will be out to make amends for his poor showing in the 100m event when he returns Monday evening to the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon for the first round of the 200m event.
The 19 year old failed to fulfil expectations in the blue ribband race, running 10.26 seconds to place sixth which ensured he did not race past the first roound.
Now set to compete in his preferred race which fetched him the World U20 title last year in Nairobi, Kenya and a bronze medal at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships on the same Hayward Field track last month, Onwuzurike will feel confident of being among the first three in his heat to win one of the three automatic tickets on offer to the semifinals.
The Nigerian has been drawn in lane seven of heat five and he will have to battle reigning World 100m champion, American Fred Kerley for one of the tickets.
Kerley won the 100m event Sunday morning and will be one of the favourites to qualify for the semis following his impressive record in the event. He ran 19.83 seconds to place third at the USA trials last month and holds a personal season’s best of 19.80 seconds in the event.
Onwuzurike is the second fastest in the line up courtesy of the 20.08 seconds he ran in May at the NCAA West Preliminary Round and he will need to run close to that to be able to secure his passage to the semifinals.
The Nigerian will also be challenged by two Africans, South Africa’s Sinesipho Dambile and Camerounian Emmanuel Eseme with 2011 World 100m champion, Jamaica’s Yohan Blake also in the line up.
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