Since Nigerian sprint legend, Olusoji Fasuba, ran a time of 9.85s, in 2006 to set a new African record, no runner from the country has been able to run the 100m event under 10 seconds.
However, that 13-year wait to have a Nigerian run the 100m under 10 seconds ended early Sunday morning as the rave of the moment, Divine Oduduru, breezed to a fast 9.95s, later rounded off to 9.94s to win at the Michael Johnson Invitational.
The new feat is not just a new Personal Best (PB) for Oduduru, it is also a new School Record (SR) and the fastest time in the 100m in the world this year
At a meet named for one of the biggest stars of track and field, Oduduru ran a time out of reach for all except the all-time greats.
Less than an hour after running the 100 meters in 9.94 seconds, the Texas Tech sprinter ran the 200 in 19.76 — both times wind-legal to the admiration of the crowd present.
The 19.76 winning time for Oduduru once ratified by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, will be declared a new national record as it dwarfs the 19.84 seconds set by Francis Obikwelu in 1999 at the World Championships in Seville Spain.
“In my 35 years of coaching, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Tech coach Wes Kittley said after Oduduru recorded the double wins in the 100m and 200m events. “To run that 9.94 and then 40 minutes later, ran the 200. This was a really tight schedule and pretty spectacular performances that close together.”
A sub-10-second 100 gets well-deserved attention: It’s the fastest in the world this year.
According to lubbockonline.com, only 18 other men have ever run 19.76 or faster outdoors in the 200m. Among them is the world record holder, Usain Bolt. Most of the others are legends, too — stars such as Johnson, Carl Lewis, LaShawn Merritt, Yohan Blake, Justin Gatlin, Walter Dix, Tyson Gay and Wallace Spearmon.
The 19.76 ties for 52nd all-time. Bolt set the record at 19.19, one of 18 times he’s clocked 19.76 or faster. Gay ran 19.76 or faster seven times, Gatlin six times, Dix four times.
But Oduduru’s 19.76 is the second-fastest ever by a collegian.
“There’s several guys running in the 9.9s,” Kittley said, “but you start separating the 19.70s, that’s really a fabulous mark. And that’s his best race right now.
“But it’s the best 100-meter race I’ve seen him put together since we’ve had him. He really drove the right amount of time before he came up and got into his transition, so I was really proud of his race setup,” the coach said.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound junior from Nigeria broke the Clyde Hart Stadium records of 10.02 and 20.30, both set by then Baylor star, Trayvon Bromell, who won the 2016 World Championships gold medal in the 60 meters.
Both his 100 and 200 times were run with a wind of 0.8 meters per second (mps), within the allowable 2.0 mps for records purposes.
Oduduru eclipsed his previous school records: 10.10 that he ran last April, also at the Michael Johnson Invitational, and 20.13 in the 200m that he ran last May at the Big 12 meet in Waco.