Udodi Onwuzurike stormed to men’s 200m GOLD at the ongoing World Athletics U20 Championships to become the first Nigerian to achieve that feat since Francis Obikwelu won the event in Sydney in 1996.
Onwuzurike, who was born in the United States to Nigerian immigrants, was in a class of his own throughout the race, as he beat championships favourite, Letsile Tebogo of Botswana and South Africa’s Sinesipho Dambile of South Africa to take the victory in a new Personal Best and National U20 Record of 20.21.
Drawn in lane 3, Onwuzurike had the benefit of seeing both Tebogo and Dambile on his outside, and he used that to his advantage, speeding past them as he entered the home straight.
At that point, he was in a comfortable lead, and with his eyes on the clock, he kept pumping those legs by the dozens to cross the finish line in an emphatic fashion.
Still amazed at what he had just achieved, the teenager who will be going to Stanford University to school this fall, let a roar out in the excitement of the spectacle he had given to the crowd cheering him from home.
“It’s a dream come true, he said”.”I came to this Championships with one goal on my mind, and I have achieved the feat”.
Tebogo, the 100m GOLD medallist from earlier in the Championships, put up a good fight, but he looked spent as he held on to Silver in 20.38s, ahead of Dambile who clocked a Season’s Best of 20.45 to take Bronze.