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It’s a priceless experience coaching my son — Udodi’s father

By Gowon Akpodonor
25 June 2022   |   4:00 am
United States-based athletics coach, Chris Onwuzurike, whose son, Udodi, is one of Nigeria’s brightest hopes for medals in this year’s World Athletics Championships in Oregon, and the Commonwealth Games in England, has revealed some of the challenges he faced coaching his son.

Udodi

United States-based athletics coach, Chris Onwuzurike, whose son, Udodi, is one of Nigeria’s brightest hopes for medals in this year’s World Athletics Championships in Oregon, and the Commonwealth Games in England, has revealed some of the challenges he faced coaching his son.

Coach Onwuzurike and his son, Udodi, arrived in Nigeria last week to compete in the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN)’s national trials, which began yesterday in Benin City. The competition is being used by the AFN to select Nigeria’s representatives at the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.

Udodi, who won gold for Nigeria in the 200m at the last U-20 World Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, is already being tipped in some quarters as a replica of Jamaica’s speed star, Usain Bolt and one of Nigeria’s stars to watch out for at Paris 2024 Olympics. He is eyeing a ticket to fly the nation’s flag in both 100m and 200m at Oregon 2022 and the Commonwealth Games.

“I have been involved in my son’s (Udodi) track and field training since he was eight years,” Onwuzurike told The Guardian. “I have coached him along side the head coach, Deron Early, the owner of Prime Time Track Club of Michigan. We have all traveled together to numerous track events,” he stated.

Speaking further, Onwuzurike said: “It hasn’t been easy for me as a business owner being absent from my business. I have been blessed with good, capable and reliable staff that continue to manage the business affairs in my absence.”

Since he was eight years, Udodi has represented the State of Michigan in the AAU annually. Together, we have visited many countries while in competition. This has been a priceless experience working together with my son and most importantly, seeing positive results.”

According to him, Udodi established a goal of being one of the greatest at the age of eight, breaking American records at the NCAA.

“Udodi has set facility records in almost every facility he ran. As a Freshman at Stanford University, he broke 63-year-old school records in both 100m and 200m. He was a third place er in 200m at 2022 U.S. NCAA National Championship,” he stated.

The Guardian recalls that Udodi gave Nigeria the third gold medal in the 200m, also setting a new 20.21s Personal Best in Nairobi. The gold was Nigeria’s second in the World U20 Championships since Francis Obikwelu won it in 1996 in Sydney, Australia.