By Ayodele Ayelomi
Nigerian new spirint sensation, Divine Oduduru has disclosed that he was not surprised he raced into history books on Saturday at the 2019 Michael Johnson Invitational at the Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA.
The five-time African Junior Champion ran two world best times within in one hour in two races at the meet. He first raced to his first ever sub-10 seconds run in the 100-metre race, beating the tape at 9.94 seconds to become the fastest man over the distance so far this outdoor season and the ninth Nigerian to duck inside 10 seconds.
Oduduru also became the first Nigerian in 13 years to break the 10 seconds barrier after reigning African record holder in the event, Olusoji Fasuba ran 9.85 seconds on May 12, 2006 in Doha, Qatar to set the present African best mark over the distance.
Barely an hour later, Oduduru sped to another world lead, this time running 19.76 seconds in the half lap and in the process broke the 19.84 seconds Nigerian record set by Francis Obiorah Obikwelu at the 7th IAAF World Championships in Seville, Spain in August 1999.
“I worked for this,” Oduduru told his University,Texas Tech’s official website.
“My coaches have always been telling me that I have to get into the moment where I can feel everything. I want to say thank you to Coach [Calvin] Robinson for getting me to this point in my life and my career. We have a great team, and I want to say thank you to everyone for their love and support.”
information at the IAAF website revealed that only 122 sprinters in history have broken the 10-second barrier in the 100m and 72 sprinters have gone sub-20 in the 200m with Oduduru only the second Nigerian ever to do that.
Oduduru said he has been able to run these fast because of his coach, Robinson’s training regimen.
“It’s something we do in practice,” Oduduru further said. “We run, time the rest, then come back and run another race. He [Robinson] said to just run it the way I do in practice.”
Robinson who witnessed the greatest one-day performance by a track and field athlete in Texas Tech history coroborates Oduduru’s claims.
“Run, rest and run again,” Robinson said. “It’s exactly what we do in practice. We came here with the mentality of getting work in and we got it done.”
Stunning was the word for Wes Kittley, Texas Tech University’s Director of Track & Field and Cross Country.
“It was the most impressive thing I’ve seen as a coach,”Kittley told the school’s official website.