08 May 2017

"Nigeria’s fastest man" aiming to take on Usain Bolt this summer

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Adeseye Ogunlewe receives his award from our Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster

Our 2017 Alumni Sports Award winner could be lining up against Usain Bolt at the World Athletics Championships in London this summer.

Adeseye Ogunlewe attributes his success on the track to his time at Essex and the support of the University’s Human Performance Unit. With their help he was able to improve his power and speed to qualify for the Rio Olympics. He represented Nigeria in the 100 metres and his qualifying time of 10.12 seconds earned him the title of Nigeria’s fastest man.

The audience gave Adeseye a standing ovation when he received his award from the Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster at the annual Students' Union Sports Awards presentation evening held at the Colchester Campus.

“Essex means everything to me because when I came here I was no-one. I came as an amateur athlete. I set my mind to go to the Olympic Games and I made it, but without the team at Essex I wouldn’t be where I am today. If I can do it, anyone can,” said Adeseye, after receiving his Alumni award, which is presented each year to a former student who has achieved excellence in sport.

Adeseye joined Essex on the sports scholarship programme and competed in the British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as the Rio games, which took place just after he had graduated in Law and Politics.

Essex Director of Sport Dr Dave Parry said: “His progress has been exceptional and to qualify for one of the premier events at the Olympic Games is a tremendous achievement. The University is very proud of his success and he continues to be a role model for sporting achievement at Essex – his picture is at the entrance to the University’s sports centre as an inspiration to current students.”

Having completed his studies, Adeseye is now a full-time athlete and hopes to be on the track beside Bolt this summer, in what is expected to be Bolt’s final championship competition.

In January Adeseye was named as a champion for the Speak up Africa organisation, and uses his profile to call for action to improve public health and education across the continent.

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