Amaechi Morton

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Amaechi Morton
Personal information
Born (1989-10-30) October 30, 1989 (age 25)
Sport
Country  Nigeria
Sport Athletics
Event(s) 400m Hurdles

Amaechi Morton (born October 30, 1989) is an American-born track and field 400-meter hurdler who competes for Nigeria. He was the 2012 400 m hurdles gold medallist at the NCAA Championships and the African Championships. He has a personal record of 48.79 seconds for the event.

Morton was born in Atlanta, Georgia to a Nigerian mother of Igbo descent, Nkem Sabena Obiekwe.[1] He holds dual American/Nigerian citizenship.[2] He attended Riverwood High School and while there he broke the school records in the 400 m hurdles and the 400-meter dash, as well as finishing second at the 2008 USATF Junior Olympics.[3] He gained an athletic scholarship at Stanford University and began competing for the Stanford Cardinals in 2009.[1]

Responding to the advice of Patience Itanyi (a Nigerian Olympian), Morton opted to compete internationally for his mother's native Nigeria.[2] In his first year at Stanford, he ran a personal best of 50.11 seconds for the 400 m hurdles, breaking the school's 28-year-old record. He came third at the Pac-10 Conference final and was a semi-finalist at the NCAA Championships.[3] In July, he travelled to Nigeria and came second in the 400 m dash at the national trials (running a best of 46.10 seconds).[4] He was chosen for the 4×400-meter relay team and helped Nigeria reach the 2009 World Championships final, where they finished eighth.[5] Returning to collegiate competition in 2010, he set a personal record of 48.94 seconds in the hurdles to finish second at the Pac-10 Championships, then earned his first All-American honours with a third place finish at the NCAA Outdoors.[3]

He set an indoor best of 46.23 seconds over 400 m in January 2011 and was fifth in that event at the NCAA Indoor Championships. He ran a time of 49.43 for third at the Pac-10 Championships and improved one position at the NCAA Outdoors, taking second place in a season's best of 49.08 seconds.[3] The 2012 collegiate season saw Morton develop his skills further. He ran a near-personal record (48.95) to win the Pac-10 title and also came second in the 110-meter hurdles. He went undefeated in the 400 m hurdles for Stanford that year and won the NCAA title with a best of 48.79 seconds.[6] Morton discussed his internationally eligibility with both the Athletics Federation of Nigeria and USA Track and Field.[7] He requested to run for the United States and American officials asked for his release from Nigerian duty,[2] but ultimately he continued to represent Nigeria. At the 2012 African Championships in Athletics he won the continental gold medals in both the 400 m hurdles and in the relay. Given that he had achieved the Olympic qualifying standard, he was selected to participate for Nigeria at the 2012 Summer Olympics.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Crumpacker, John (2012-04-14). Amaechi Morton, Katerina Stefanidi lead Stanford. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  2. ^ a b c USTAF writes AFN on Amaechi’s release. The Punch (2012-06-15). Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  3. ^ a b c d Amaechi Morton. Stanford Cardinals. Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  4. ^ Morton Amaechi. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  5. ^ Men's 4 x 400 metres relay final results. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  6. ^ Amaechi Morton Wins NCAA Title in the 400-meter Hurdles. Stanford Cardinals (2012-06-08). Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  7. ^ Morton mum on Nigeria return. Vanguard Nigeria (2012-05-25). Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  8. ^ Local sports digest: Stanford's Amaechi Morton makes Nigerian Olympic team. Mercury News (2012-06-30). Retrieved on 2012-07-03.

External links[edit]