Divine Oduduru, reigning NCAA Division 1 200m champion, started his quest to become the second Nigerian man to successfully complete a sprint double at the Championships on an explosive note.
Oduduru made the impressive showing at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin,Texas on Thursday. Oduduru scorched to a wind-aided 10.96 seconds, the fastest time in the first round of the 100m event and 19.97 seconds, also the fastest time in the first round of the 200m event. The Texas Tech University undergraduate student is bidding to become the second Nigerian after Olapade Adeniken to win the 100m and 200m titles at the same NCAA Division I Championships.
Adeniken ran 10.09 seconds and 20.11 seconds in the colours of University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP) to successfully complete the sprint double at the championship in 1992. He thus, became the second African to achieve the feat following Namibian, Frankie Fredericks’ feat a year earlier for Brigham Young University.
Oduduru will thus become the third African to win the two titles if he succeeds in the finals on Saturday. It seems it is going to be difficult to bet against the Nigerian who has taken the collegiate track world by storm since bursting on the scene in 2018. He won the 200m outdoor title out of lane eight at the championships in Eugene in June 2018. This year, he has gone sub-20 in the 200m thrice and sub-10 in the 100m thrice – doing both in the span of a single hour at Baylor. He is only the tenth man in world history to achieve the feat on the same day. He is the only man in the world to have gone sub-20 thrice this season.