Adeyemi Kazeem won the men's 20km race in 1:41.40 at the 2015 National Championships.

The Nigerian Athletics community has once again been thrown into mourning following the passing on of one of the country’s top Race Walkers and reigning National Champion in the men’s 20km Race Walk, Kazeem Adeyemi on Tuesday, June 2nd in Lagos State.

According to eyewitness reports, Adeyemi suddenly slumped while jogging and was buried according to Islamic rites on Wednesday, June 3rd at the Agege Cemetery, Lagos State.

Adeyemi who represented the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) until his passing, was very consistent and won national titles in 2007, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2019 amongst others. He represented Nigeria in the 20km Race Walk at the 2003 All-African Games in Abuja where he finished 5th and his Personal Best (PB) of 1:34:05 in the event was set a year later. He also donned the green and white colours at the 2018 African Championships in Asaba.

Kazeem Adeyemi (Centre) won the men’s 20km Race Walk at the 2017 National Championships as well.

His most recent competitions were the TAFCAN All-Comers held in Lagos in January and the Nigeria Police Games which took place in March in Awka, Anambra State where he won a Silver medal for the NPF in the men’s 10km Race Walk.

Reacting to his death, Vice Chairman Nigeria Police Athletics ASP Solomon Aliyu said, “This is a great loss because in the Race Walk event, the NPF has the bulk of the athletes than any other club, so his death will create a great vacuum in the NPF and at the national level as well.

“Even at his place of work, the DPO whom I had a conversation with yesterday at the burial site, gave a good account of him as a very disciplined and hardworking officer. The DPO is also grieved that he has lost such a hardworking officer. It’s a great loss to the NPF and Nigeria Police Athletics.”

At the time of his death, Adeyemi had served the NPF for 11 years and was a Sergeant serving at Ikoyi Division under Lagos State. He is survived by a wife and three children.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently hosts a weekly Track and Field column in the Vanguard Newspaper.

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