Udodi Chudi Onwuzurike has set a new championship record in the men’s 200 m with a time of 20.13 seconds, making him the sixth Nigerian to qualify for the semicircular final of the U20 World Athletics Championships.
Accompanied by his father to the ongoing U20 World Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, Onwuzurike left no doubt about his mission to Nairobi, which will succeed Francis Obikwelu as the next Nigerian U20 world champion over 200 m.
In the semifinals, the high school graduate stormed with a personal best of 20.13 seconds, the fastest 200-meter time of all time in the history of championships and a new Nigerian U20 record to qualify for today’s final.
Between Onwuzurike and a second U20 world champion over 200 meters 25 years after Obikwelu’s victory in Sydney, two Africans, Bostwana’s reigning U20 world champion over 100 meters, Leslie Tebogo, who set a new personal best of 20.31, stand for to qualify for the final, and Uganda’s Tarsis Orogot, who set a new national record of 20.37 in the semifinals.
Interestingly, all of the Nigerian athletes who made it to the finals of the event ended up on the podium, starting with Olapade Adeniken, who won a silver medal (20.88 seconds) in 1988 in Sudbury, Canada. He was followed by Davidson Ezinwa two years later in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.