Nigerian athlete, Ejowvokoghene Divine Oduduru, has won his first NCAA 100m title clocking 9.86 seconds to become second African runner to achieve this feat.
Oduduru’s 9.86 second was the second-fastest time in NCAA history.
He is now the second Nigerian after Olopade Adeniken in 1992 and third African after Namibia’s Frankie Frederick in 1991 to successfully complete a sprint double at the NCAA Division 1 Championship on Friday.
His time was just a 100th of a second off Olusoji Fasuba’s 9.85-second African record set 13-years ago in Doha. Fasuba is the fastest African athlete of all time, while Oduduru is just a 100th of a second behind him.
The time is third joint fastest in the world as he equals Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman’s runs last month in Shanghai at the IAAF Diamond League meeting.
He later ran the second-fastest 200m in NCAA history with 19.73 seconds.
Oduduru earlier in the week opened up to the IAAF official website in an emotional interview; revealing his grass to grace story.
The sprinter is the youngest of 10 children and he grew up in abject poverty in the small rural village of Ovworo near the town of Ughelli in Southern Nigeria.
Oduduru told the IAAF website that each day he had to help out his father (now late) on the small farm to cultivate crops.
“Life was really tough. For everyone, it was a struggle to survive. We walked to and from school and some days I didn’t eat, I was starving. It is only when I came home to the farm I get something to eat like Garri (a flour grain).”
Determined to help himself to a better life, he vowed as a youngster to one day haul himself out of the poverty trap.
“I knew that I wanted to create a platform for myself and I was determined not to end up the same way as others,” Oduduru added.