- Divine Oduduru, Nigerian athlete, has officially dropped out of Texas Tech University in the final
- The 22-year-old is keen on pursuing a professional career in athletics
- Oduduru is currently the second fastest African runner after clocking a time of 9.86 seconds last week
Divine Oduduru, Nigerian athlete, has officially dropped out of Texas Tech University in the final year to purse a professional career as an athlete.
According to the University’s official website, Oduduru, who is now the second fastest African in the 100m after compatriot Olusoji Fasuba was in devastating form at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships on Friday, June 7, winning both 100m and 200m events as Texas Tech's claimed its maiden men's athletics national title.
"I want to say thank you to Texas Tech University for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to come study here," Oduduru noted, even as he took out time to applaud other squad members.
"I want to thank all of my teammates — from the sprinters to the jumpers to the throwers — for always believing in me and giving me so much support. I never felt like I was not at home here.
"It has been so great being here at Tech, and now I've made up my mind that I want to go pursue my career. I'll always be proud to say I am a Red Raider and a Tech student. Wherever I go to, I will be proud to say that."
Interestingly, Oduduru broke into the scene representing Nigeria at the Rio Olympics in 2016, finishing second behind Usain Bolt to attract global attention.
However, he returned to the spotlight in America, winning the 200m title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2018 despite running in lane eight.
In 2019, Oduduru continued his superlative form on the tracks, running a top-10 time in both the 60m and 200m during the indoor season.
After running 200m in 20.08 seconds, Oduduru recorded the fastest time in the world, resulting to a national title in the 200m.
During the outdoor season, Oduduru continued to burn the tracks while representing Texas Tech University, leading the 4x100 relay team to a school-record 38.87 – the first sub-39 time in their history.
Also, at Baylor's Michael Johnson Invitational, Oduduru took the world by surprise with the fastest time in both the 100m (9.94) and 200m (19.76), with the latter emerging the second-fastest time ever run by a collegiate.
At the national meet, Oduduru’s finals time in the 100m dash– a 9.86 – was the second-fastest ever run at the title meet and tied him for the world lead.
And his previous 200m time of 19.73 remained America’s meet record as well as the third best time in the world this year.
At the moment, Oduduru now holds the second- and third-fastest times ever run by a collegiate, breaking Texas Tech University school record four times in 2019.
Assistant coach Calvin Robinson sees Oduduru as a legend in the making after witnessing his collegiate career.
"I think if you look at the times he has run and what he has done in his time in college, I would have to agree with [head coach] Wes [Kittley] that he's the greatest 100m/200m doubler in NCAA history," he said.
Responding, Oduduru, insists Robinson is key to his successes story since coming to the United States.
"He has played the role of a coach and father to me," Oduduru said.
"I'm going to say he's one of the best coaches I've met in my career of an athlete.
“He has been able to transform my level of confidence and training and endurance to a new level.”
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Divine Oduduru, Nigerian athlete has continued to make waves in the United States after winning his first NCAA 100m title.
The 22-year-old became the second fastest African runner after clocking a time of 9.86 seconds to achieve his feat according to the IAAF website.
His feat was an improvement from the 9.99 seconds, which he recorded at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng We have updated to serve you better
Can Nigeria win AFCON 2019 with the current crop of players?| Legit TV