|Divine Oduduru celebrates his 200 meter win at 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene,Oregon|
by Harry Cummins
Less than an hour after running the 100 meters in a world-leading 9.94 seconds, Texas Tech sprinter Divine Oduduru ran the second fastest ever 200 meters by a collegian in a stunning 19.76 to complete a spectacular double Saturday afternoon at the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco,Texas.
Oduduru's 200 meter time was also the fastest in the world in 2019, with both 100 and 200 times wind legal marks. It was the first ever sub 10 second 100 meters for the Texas Tech junior sprinter from Nigeria as he also shattered both the stadium 100/200 records set by Trayvon Bromell.
Oduduro won the 200 meters at the past two NCAA Championships--the outdoor last June in Eugene, Oregon, and the indoor this March in Birmingham, Alabama. In his outdoor win in Eugene, he surprised the field in winning from Lane 8 in a time of 20.28, then celebrated with a "bird-dance" in front of the appreciative Hayward Field spectators, myself among them.
Meanwhile, another 2018 NCAA title holder, Michael Norman, became the 4th fastest 400 meter man in history when he opened his 2019 season with a shocking 43.45 400 meter win at the Mt SAC Relays in California. It was Norman's first race as a professional following a decorated career at USC.
The 21 year old Norman won the 2018 NCAA outdoor title in Eugene with a collegiate record 43.61 last June. His 43.45 time Saturday is the fastest a human being has ever run for 400 meters in the month of April and Norman has put the track world on notice that a world record is within his reach this season.
Here is the list of All-Time 400m Performers:
1. 43.03 Wayde van Niekerk
2. 43.18 Michael Johnson
3. 43.29 Butch Reynolds
4. 43.39 Michael Johnson
5. 43.44 Michael Johnson
6. 43.45 Michael Norman
43.45 Jeremy Wariner
With such amazing early season marks for Oduduru and Norman, it is hard not to imagine what each of these athletes can do with a full season of training ahead of them before this summer's major competitions.