Delight as University of Essex graduate qualifies for Rio Olympics

Adeseye Ogunlewe, who has won a place at the Rio Olympics

Adeseye Ogunlewe, who has won a place at the Rio Olympics - Credit: Archant

Nigeria’s fastest man – a University of Essex graduate – has won a place at this year’s Rio Olympics.

Adeseye in action - he is in the blue

Adeseye in action - he is in the blue - Credit: Archant

Adeseye Ogunlewe’s Rio dream came true after winning the Nigerian 100m trials with a new personal best and Olympic qualifying time of just 10.12 seconds.

The 24-year-old – who graduated at the university’s Colchester campus earlier this month after completing a law and politics degree – posted the time despite heavy rain impacting track conditions on the day.

Speaking after his success, Ade, originally from Lagos, said: “It’s an absolute dream come true. It’s such an honour to be able to represent my country in this way and I’m thrilled to be heading over there next week.

“I’ve been Nigeria’s fastest man for two years running now which is crazy. But I’ve worked very hard to earn that title.”

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Ade, who was relatively new to athletics when he started university, was first scouted by the university’s Human Performance Unit (HPU), running the 100m race in 10.8 seconds in his first year.

He became a sports scholar, and now, just five years later, he is getting his head down for training ahead of the Games.

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“I just have to work really hard in the next few weeks and possibly do one or two more races before I head to the camp,” he said.

“I just want to go as far as possible and put in a good performance at the Games. That is my aim.”

The athlete, who lives in London, said words “cannot express” his gratitude to the HPU, who have coached him through the university’s sports scholarship programme every year.

He added: “The university has helped a lot. I can say without the team in the HPU I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Director of sport Dave Parry, who oversees the sports scholarship programme, said qualifying for an international tournament such as the Olympics is a “tremendous achievement”.

“His progress has been exceptional,” Dr Parry said.

Ade plans to fly over to Rio next week. To follow his progress, follow him on Twitter @seyeogunlewe.

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