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Editorials, Features, Sports

Nigerian Speed Star Ogazi Blazes Past Bolt’s Teenage Record

Nigeria’s speed sensation Samuel Ogazi has become the fastest teenager in history for his age category, thus he is faster than Usain Bolt in the 400m event.

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 25th May 2024

Nigeria’s athletics scene has a new hero in 18-year-old Samuel Ogazi, who has shattered the 400m World Best record for his age group. Ogazi’s blistering 44.53s clocking at the NCAA East preliminaries not only secured his spot at the national championships but also eclipsed Usain Bolt’s times at both 17 (45.35s) and 21 (45.28s).


This feat has propelled Ogazi to the top of the U20 world rankings (sixth all-time) and placed him firmly in contention to break the long-standing record of 44.87s set by Steve Lewis in 1988.


A Meteoric Rise


Ogazi’s dominance isn’t a recent development. After a stellar 2023 season that saw him sweep national, continental, and Commonwealth Games titles in the U18 category, he transitioned seamlessly to the NCAA system in 2024.



He wasted no time announcing his arrival, setting a new personal best of 45.35s at the season opener and progressively lowering it throughout the season. At the SEC Championships, Ogazi became the second-fastest Nigerian 400m runner ever (behind Innocent Egbunike’s 44.17s) with a scorching 44.58s run, also claiming the National U20 record and the School Record.


Eyes on the Prize


With the NCAA Championships and the Paris Olympics on the horizon, Ogazi has his sights set on even more historic achievements. Lowering his time and potentially becoming the first Nigerian man to break the 44-second barrier are his immediate goals.


Samuel Ogazi, Ella Onojuvwevwo, Esther Joseph, and Chidi Okezie punched their Paris tickets in the mixed 4x400m


Ogazi’s impact extends beyond individual races. He played a crucial role in qualifying the Nigerian mixed 4x400m relay team for the Olympics, and both he and his teammates will be aiming for a medal in Paris.

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