A Nigerian based in the United States, Divine Oduduru, presently has the fastest time in the world for 2019 in the Men’s 200m event.
Oduduru achieved this big feat at the weekend while competing for his school, Texas Tech, at the Big 12 indoor championships in which top schools in the United States were present to rub shoulders.
The Nigeria who ran a time of 20.08 seconds became the second collegian ever to break 20.10, according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association.
Before his heroics in the 200m, Oduduru had also emerged tops in the 60m race; winning with a new Personal Best (PB) of 6.52s, the time posted by Oduduru is a new School Record for Texas Tech.
Oduduru’s double in the sprints made him the men’s co-high point scorer of the meet.
His training partner, Andrew Hudson, finished second to Oduduru in both sprints, running 6.57 in the 60 and 20.55 in the 200.
Oduduru has a hard time containing his emotions when he wins, which is often. He was known for his joyous celebrations before he came to Tech.
“The celebration is a special one, I would say, in Nigeria,” he said at the presser after his race. “It’s a way of dancing and appreciating God, like, ‘God, thank you for all you’ve done for me. I’m going to show the world that I’m always grateful to you.’ So that is my dance.’”
That led to an even more animated dance than the one after the 60. Oduduru dashed across the track, to the corner of the building nearest the medal stand and gyrated for fans crammed into that area.
“I was never thinking I was going that fast in the 200,” Oduduru said, “but when I saw the time, I was like, ‘Woo, that’s a big one. I have to be grateful to God for that.’”
“You run 20.08, you probably deserve a dance or two,” sprints coach Calvin Robinson said.
Oduduru last competed for Nigeria at the 21st Senior African Athletics Championship held in Asaba, Delta State where he won the silver medal in the men’s 200m race.