Athletics

Olympic gold medalist Lee Evans passes on in Nigeria

Lee Edward Evans, the record-setting sprinter who wore a black beret in a sign of protest at the 1968 Olympics, died Wednesday in Nigeria. He was aged 74 years.

Lee Edward Evans, the record-setting sprinter who wore a black beret in a sign of protest at the 1968 Olympics, passed on Wednesday in Nigeria. He was aged 74 years.

The world famous former record holder in the 400m was confirmed dead by USA Track and Field.

Just last week, former Nigerian international, Segun Odegbami, had raised the alarm over the deteriorating state of the American who suffered stroke some time ago.

Lee Evans was the first human to break the 44-seconds barrier for the 400 metres event when he was just 21.

Thereafter, he broke 11 world records over different distances during his career as a sprints athlete. When he broke the World record in 400 metres for the last time it was at the 1968 Olympic Games where he won two solid gold medals. That record stood for 20 years and was only broken by Michael Johnson who had to cover the distance at an almost, humanly impossible even-pace unseen before, or since, in athletics.

After his career as an athlete, Lee became one of the greatest sprints coaches in the world, following the template of his coach and mentor, another hall of famer, Lloyd Bud Winters. Lee had travelled the world working in different countries including Nigeria where he worked the longest and had coached a legion of some of Nigeria’s greatest athletes in history.

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