Divine Oduduru in 2016, ran alongside Olympic Games champion and world record holder in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4 × 100 meters relay, a moment he describes as the most memorable in his career, next to winning the NCAA title.
In 2019, Oduduru broke his personal and season best records to set a world leading record of 9.95sec to win at the Michael Johnson Invitational on Saturday. He also broke Francis Obikwelu’s national record of 19.84sec set in 1999 in the 200 meters, with a new world leading NR and SR of 19.76s.
At the Rio 2016 Olympics, Oduduru ran a personal best of 20.34secs in the 200m heat to come second behind Usain Bolt as both men qualified for the semifinals, it wasn’t just an exciting moment, it was a motivational moment for Delta-born Divine Oduduru, he said “Running side-by-side with Bolt is one of the high points of my career, I enjoyed the privilege that came with running with my mentor.
It showed me that I can be anything I want to be if I focus on it and work hard at it. I am happy that I was able to finish second behind Bolt in that race, It taught me that with patience, I will get where I am going.”
Since then, he joined the Texas Tech University in its Track & Field Department and on Saturday, April, 20th, 2019, he broke five records in one race, which includes a world record.
At the end of the 2018 season, Oduduru declared “I have a watchword, which is to take each year and competition as they come. I am grateful for all I have achieved so far, especially this year. But I will not make any promise for 2019 because no one can predict what will happen tomorrow.
However, I look forward to having a fantastic 2019 season. I will go back to work harder in training and ensure that I improve in what I do. I also pray for an injury-free season so that I can achieve whatever I set as targets for myself.”
This is not the first time the 22-year-old is delivering an outstanding performance in track and field. He won the world under-20 silver medal in 2014, wrapped up last year as a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion and smashed his own national indoor record at the 2018 African Championships.
In the testament of his hardwork, Oduduru’s performance was the highlight of Saturday’s Big 12 Conference Indoor Championships in Texas, where he represented Texas Tech University. Running a time of 20.08 seconds, he became the second collegian ever in the US to break the 20.10-second mark.
His achievement has been ratified by the IAAF as the third fastest indoor 200 metres performance of all-time. Odududuru broke a world record, a US record, championship record, school record and the facility record.
Oduduru’s dream “I want to win as many medals and titles as I can, Olympics, World Championships, African Championships, All Africa Games. The target is to keep being the best for as long as I can.”
Oduduru is the ninth Nigerian to ever run sub-10 in the 100m, and the second to go sub-20 in the 200m.
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