Udodi Onwuzurike has become the first Nigerian male athlete to automatically secure a World Championships ticket to Budapest in the 200m event.
Onwuzurike clocked a time of 20.14s (1.8) to win the 200m event at the Mt. SAC Relays on Saturday. By doing this, the speedster became the first Nigerian male athlete to punch his ticket to the World Championships in Budapest after surpassing the automatic qualifying standard of 20.16s.
The 20-year-old had a fantastic start to the season when he broke his Personal Best (PB) in the 60m on several occasions. Then at the NCAA indoor championships, Onwuzurike was the joint-best performer in the men’s 200m semifinals, storming to an outstanding 20.17s to win his race and advance to the final.
This time obliterated his previous PB and School Record (SR) of 20.56s before the championship and is a Facility Record (FR). Most importantly, it catapulted him as the sixth-fastest in world indoor history.
Making his season’s debut outdoors, the Stanford University standout student-athlete blazed to a time of 10.14 secs to win his 100m qualifying heat at the Stanford Invitational and lowered it to a blistering 10.07s for victory in the final, equalling the Facility Record.
It is his fastest season opener and stands No.1 on the Nigerian 100m list this year. With his 200m performances this season, Onwuzurike is the favourite in pundit’s books to be the first Nigerian male athlete to run below 20s and 10s this year.
He will also be making his second appearance at the World Championships after his debut appearance last year in Oregon.
List of Nigerian athletes with World Championships qualifications
- Tobi Amusan – women’s 100m Hurdles
- Ese Brume – women’s long jump
- Ruth Usoro – women’s long jump
- Chioma Onyekwere – women’s Discus throw
- Rosemary Chukwuma – women’s 100m
- Favour Ofili – women’s 200m
- Udodi Onwuzurike – men’s 200m
- Women’s 4x100m relay team
- Mixed 4x400m relay team