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I’m satisfied with my son’s performance, says Onwuzurike

By Gowon Akpodonor
23 July 2022   |   3:33 am
U.S.-based sprinter, Udodi Onwuzurike, is among the youngest stars featuring in the ongoing Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championship in Eugene, United States.

Udodi

U.S.-based sprinter, Udodi Onwuzurike, is among the youngest stars featuring in the ongoing Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championship in Eugene, United States.

At 19 years, Onwuzurike ran against the biggest names and legends with average of 10 years as professionals in both the 100m and 200m. He finished 6th in the 200m event, which placed him 14th overall position in the world.

Udodi’s father and coach, Chris Onwuzurike, said his son has achieved and experienced what most college students may never have the opportunity to accomplish.

“Overall, I am proud of what Udodi has accomplished and he will apply lessons learned from Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championship,” he told The Guardian. “My son is only 19, a true 19 year old.”

Last year, Udodi Onwuzurike represented Nigeria for the first time, and emerged as one of the biggest stars at the World U20 Athletics Championship in Nairobi, Kenya.

He won the 200m title in Nairobi, dropping a time of 20.21 (+05) seconds, a winning time that was part of three performances under 21 seconds at Nairobi 2021 championship.

It was also a Personal Best (PB) and National U20 record for the young lad, which effectively broke the 25-year jinx that has seen no other Nigeria win gold in the 200m event since Francis Obikwelu grabbed the junior title in 1996 in Sydney.

“Udodi has gone through a very long season between high school, U20 and university without a break,” the father stated. “He may not have enough time to rest before school reopen.”

The young Onwuzurike is one of the athletes Team Nigeria is banking on for medals in the fast approaching Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in England.

Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championship will end tomorrow, and Onwuzurike and other Nigerian athletes and their officials are expected to depart Eugene immediately for England.

Former Nigerian jumper, hurdler and sprinter, Seigha Porbeni, who is the Head Coach of AFN, has described Udodi as one of Nigeria’s stars to watch out for at Paris 2024 Olympics.

“We have started our journey to Paris 2024 Olympics, ” Porbeni told The Guardian. “I want to compare Udodi to Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.”

Porbeni is of the opinion that with more encouragement from Nigerian government, and more competitions, Udodi Onwuzurike, a student of Stanford in the United States, would become a world star.