Nigerian sprinter Divine Oduduru has revealed that he was only paid N150, 000 after he won silver for Nigeria at the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba.
Oduduru won silver in the 200m on the closing day of the championships in his home state of Delta.
The 21-year-old is, however, threatening not to honour future invitation because of the shameful treatment he and other foreign-based athlete received from the Federal Government.
“You don’t treat athletes this way and expect them to honour your invitation next time,” Oduduru told Guardian.
“The Asaba 2018 Championship was an international event and we were supposed to be treated that way.”
The sprinter who is based in Texas, United States went on to reveal that he was only paid N150, 000 and could not even fund the funeral of his father who died during the championships.
“My father died while I was competing at Asaba 2018, and as an athlete running for Nigeria, members of my family are expecting me to assist them financially in the burial plans,” Oduduru further said.
“But I can’t do so because we were given just N107,000 as allowances for the duration of the championship. It was an insult. I, Ese Brume, Tobi Amusan and Blessing Okagbare had to reject it.
Oduduru won silver at the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship in Asaba
“My father will be buried on October 12 in Ughelli, and as we speak, I don’t have anything to contribute towards the funeral. My dad was a titled man, and his burial will involve a lot of money. I am really sad at the moment.”
He also went on to blast officials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) failed to check up on him and only reach out just before the competition.
Oduduru who is a sophomore at Texas Tech might not be available for the 2019 national trials as he wants to focus on a “very important year’ in his school career.
Oduduru is a five-time African Junior Champion, winning one Gold Medal in 100m, two in 200m and another two in the 100m relay.
In 2014, he won silver in the 200 metres at the World Junior Championships, a year after making it to the final of the 2013 World Youth Championships.
This is not the first time he has expressed his frustration at the Nigerian Government over the treatment of athletes.
Just before the 2016 Olympic Games, the Delta-born sprinter in an interview with Making of Champions summed up the fate of Nigerian athletes.
“Sincerely speaking, Nigeria is an annoying country. This is a country where we have produced athletes, we have athletes that can rule the world, we have athletes that can shake Africa and the world but because of lack of management we are missing it now,” he said obviously angry.
“Nigerian athletes will go out and represent a country, you come back with nothing, this should be a shame to Nigeria because Nigerian athletes we are suffering.”
A hit at Texas Tech
The 21-year-old sprinter has been a hit at Texas Tech where he is on scholarship (Instagram/Divine Oduduru )
Oduduru competed at Asaba 2018 on the back of a fantastic and recording breaking year at Texas Tech.
In February, he smashed Texas Tech college’s 20-year-old 200-meter indoor record with a time of 20.49s to win the 200m at the Texas Tech Track Field Red Raider Invitational.
Two months later, he broke the school’s 14-year 100m record with a finish of 10.10s to emerge the winner in a 100m invitational event.
In June, he won the 200m title for Texas Tech University at the 2018 National Collegiate of Athletics Association (NCAA) championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Oduduru was admitted to Texas Technology University in the United States on scholars in 2016 after the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.