Adeseye Ogunlewe prepares to face Usain Bolt – all thanks to the University of Essex

Adeseye Ogunlewe could face off against Usain Bolt in London this summer

Adeseye Ogunlewe could face off against Usain Bolt in London this summer - Credit: Archant

An athlete who is preparing to line-up against legendary sprinter Usain Bolt in this summer’s World Athletics Championships has said his success wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the University of Essex.

Adeseye Ogunlewe is officially Nigeria’s fastest man, with a scorching 100m time of 10.12 seconds earning him a place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

And he attributes his success to his time at the university in Colchester, where he worked with the Human Performance Unit to improve his times.

He 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.

Ogunlewe returned to the university recently as he was named their 2017 Alumni Sports Award winner, which is presented each year to a former student who has achieved excellence in sport.


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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.

He said: “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.

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“If I can do it, anyone can.”

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, Ogunlewe 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. The World Athletics Championships 2017 will be hosted in London and run from August 5 to 13.

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