By Modupe Oremule
Lagos – An athletics statistician, Olalekan Soetan, on Tuesday lauded Divine Oduduru’s feat in winning the 100m and 200m at the National Collegiate Athletics Association Championships in Austin, Texas.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Oduduru won the 100m event with a time of 9.86 secs, tying Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman for the 2019 world lead.
He also won the 200m with 19.73secs on June 7.
Soetan said that Oduduru’s exploits in 2019 had been impressive, saying that he didn’t need further introduction to any sport-loving Nigerian, athletics fans in Africa and all NCAA athletes in the U.S.
“His 100m exploits this year alone are mind blowing. Oduduru at the moment claims number one of the two sub 9.9secs and number three of 22 of the All-time top lists by Nigerian athletes.
He said that Nigeria was back at its winning ways at the international level with Oduduru as the best male speedster from Nigeria, considering his scorecard in this season.
“Oduduru’s main contenders are in U.S. Michael Norman and Noah Lyles with 19.70secs and 19.72secs respectively.
“Nigeria is not just back to winning ways at international level, but has Oduduru as the very best male speedster from Nigeria if you consider his scorecard above, just this season.
“His sprints double win at the 2019 NCAA further confirms Oduduru, the man with “black blood” is here to stay. Many Olympic champions made their first announcements at the NCAA level,” he said.
Soetan also said it was worthy to note that Oduduru was a joint world leader in 100m on IAAF top list and number three in the 200m.
He said that his 9.86secs missed the African 100m record by Olusoji Fasuba by 100th of a second.
“Further statistics show that his 19.73secs, 19.76secs and 19.92secs are number one, two and four on Nigerian All-time list in 200m.
“Only two Nigerians who represented the country have gone under 20secs in the 200m,’’ he said.
Reacting to Chukwuebuka Enekwechi’s performance at the recent Diamond League held at the Golden Gala-Pietro Mennea, Rome, on June 6, he said that it was a fair outing for a debutant.
“The Commonwealth Games silver medalist had his first experience at IAAF Diamond League, to me; it was a fair outing for a first timer at the biggest athletics league.
“An effort of 20.54m, his very first throw and the best of the three valid throws stand as number 16th All-time performance by a Nigerian.
“When we consider that just four Nigerians (represented Nigeria) have thrown over 19.50m and of the 28 best throws all above 20.25m.
“Enekwechi is the greatest shot-put thrower from Nigeria with his 2019 season-best and current personal-best effort of 21.77m,’’ he said.
Soetan said that he was optimistic that Enekwechi would give a big fight in his next competition, saying that the competition in Rome was just a bad day.
“It’s normal to see the eight position at the Rome league as underperformance when you consider his 21.14m silver winning effort in 2018 or his season opener of 21.15m.
“The fact that he has thrown over 20.9m four times already and 10 times above 20.54m, is an assurance that Rome was a bad day, and he will give a big fight next time he meets the other seven.
“Enekwechi currently ranks ninth on IAAF 2019 ranking list and number seven on IAAF 2019 top list, he’s still a top contender judging by these aforementioned statistics,” he said.