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Oduduru emerges NCAA male athlete of the year in USA


Oduduru celebrates after setting a 100m record of 9.94 seconds. His award as NCAA Male Athlete of the Year in USA thrills Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

• Sprinter Turns Professional
Nigeria sprinter, Divine Oduduru has emerged as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Male Athlete of the Year in the United States of America. Oduduru, who hails from Ughelli, Delta State, has also been nominated for the Bow man award, the highest award in the U.S. for Collegiate Athletes. He is the second Nigerian to be nominated for the Bow award after Blessing Okagbare, who is equally from Delta State. 

Oduduru’e award in USA is sequel to his superlative performance this season in the U.S Collegiate Championships, where he won the 200m Indoor title, the 100m and 200m outdoor titles in 9.86secs and 19.73secs respectively. The ceremony took place on Thursday in the United States.

After proving his superiority in the NCAA, Oduduru has decided to join the professional rank. “Thanks you @ TexasTechTF these last few years have been filled with opportunity and memories. Now I’ve decided to pursue my career at the professional level,” Oduduru said on his Twitter page on Thursday evening.

Oduduru, a former student of West End College Asaba, travelled to the U.S on scholarship at the Texas Tech University, Lubbock, about three years ago. He was discovered at the annual Awoture Eleyae Junior Athletics Competition in Delta State.

The news of Oduduru’s double award in the U.S. was greeted with excitement back home in Nigeria.Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has congratulated the sprinter, Oduduru, describing him as a shinning light to the youths of Delta State.

“I also wish to congratulate other Delta Athletes who have done well like Raymond Ekevwo, who led Florida Central University to break the NCAA 4×100m record and ran the second fastest time of 10.02secs behind Divine Oduduru in more than ten years, Okowa said in a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday. He also commended another Delta state athlete, Itsekiri Usheoritse, who also ran the third fastest time of 10.07secs behind Oduduru and Ekevwo. 

“We are grateful to God because they are part of the modest contributions of Delta State to Sports Development in Nigeria. It will be recalled that all of them including Ese Brume, Uruemu Odjesa, Favour Ofili, Princess Kara, Hannah Kemele and a host of others are products of our yearly Awoture Eleyae Junior Athletics Programme.

“In the build up to this year’s programme holding in Ozoro from June 20-22, I urge all our young athletes to be encouraged by the successes recorded by Divine Oduduru and others to put in their best and be counted,” Okowa stated.Former president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Solomon Ogba also praised Oduduru for writing Nigeria’s name in gold in the United States.


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