With a repeat of his best time this year in the sprint events – Divine Oduduru representing Texas Tech University has qualified for the finals of the men’s 100m and 200m of the 2019 (National Collegiate Athletic Association) NCAA Track and Field Championships holding in Austin, United States.
Also in the list of the 10 track and field athletes to watch in the championships, the Delta State-born athlete was considered a major contender for the titles in the 100m and 200m.
Oduduru, who has already set a target of a medal at the 2019 IAAF World Championship in Doha, Qatar, coasted to victory in the 100m with the best time in all the heats.
In the 100m, Oduduru posted the best time of 9.96secs to emerge winner in Heat 3 and also booked his place in the final. His time remains the best in all the heats concluded late on Wednesday.
In the 200m heat, Oduduru showed his class by running the fastest time of 19.97secs to win Heat 1 and also qualified for the eight-man strong field final holding today.
Apart from competing in the finals of the men’s 100m and 200m, Oduduru will also be leading Texas Tech in the 4X100m relay final against other top teams in the race for a medal.
According to the website of Texas Tech, Oduduru is considered a potential medallist in all his events having run the fastest time in the 200m at 19.76secs this year to secure his place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
Oduduru ran the fastest in the 200m at 19.76, which he ran at Baylor’s Michael Johnson Invitational in April for a school record and the second-fastest time ever run by a collegiate and at the same meet, he broke the 10-second barrier for the first time in his career, running a 9.94 (+0.8), also a school record. He went sub-10 again a month later at the Big 12 Championships at 9.99secs, becoming the first in conference meet history to do so while defending his title.
The Nigerian star also ran the second leg of a 4×100 relay that ran a school-record and conference-meet record 38.83, which ranks 24th in the world.