21 Dec 2022

Eddie Osei-Nketia yet to speak with Athletics NZ on American football move

2:14 pm on 21 December 2022

New Zealand 100m record holder Eddie Osei-Nketia's decision to pursue a career in American football appears to have come as a surprise to Athletics New Zealand.

Eddie Osei-Nketia has set a new national record. Photo: Alisha Lovrich

The 21-year-old confirmed on social media on Wednesday he would be joining the University of Hawaii football team.

The university also announced the news on their social media channels.

In response, Athletics NZ released a short statement saying they had only received "recent confirmation" of Osei-Nketia's move.

"We have not yet had the opportunity to speak to Eddie about his future and whether it is possible for him to continue competing as an elite sprinter," the statement said.

"We are reaching out to Eddie to gain clarity about his future ambitions on the track."

Canberra-based Osei-Nketia didn't mention sprinting or athletics in his post announcing the decision, indicating he was fully committed to making a success of his switch.

"Man! I feel so blessed for this opportunity," he posted to Instagram along with a photo of him signing his University of Hawaii contract.

"Never thought I would ever have a chance to go to play college football, as it has been a lifelong dream to play football."

The former Scots College student broke the national 100m record, held by his father Gus for 28 years, when he ran 10.08 secs in the heats at the World Athletics Championships in the US in July.

However, Osei-Nketia was not selected for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which was the second controversial non-selection of his career.

He also missed out on making the team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which he expressed his disappointment and frustration about on social media at the time

"Qualifying to the games is one thing but qualifying and your NOC still doesn't sent [sic] you, that really hurts, man," he posted on Instagram.

"While other athletes from other countries get to go to the games. It's [sic] sucks and it's unfair but it is what it is.

"Putting in soo [sic] much time, sweat, tears and blood into this game just so you can one day represent the country that the country deserve instead gets declined."

The University of Hawaii introduced Osei-Nketia as a potential wide-receiver, while he was also expected to be looked at as a running back.