By Ben Efe
Former Olympic 400m champion and renowned coach, Lee Evans is battling to stay alive as he is due to undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor in San Jose, USA.
Mr. Evans who is one of the coaches working on the Cross Rivers State grassroots athletics development programme was on vacation in California when he took ill.
His condition was considered serious as he did not get medical attention, because he was not on the American health insurance scheme.
But coordinator of the Cross River athletics project, Bruce Ijirigho said yesterday that family and friends were rallying round Evans who was a former world record holder in the 400m.
“He will be undergoing surgery on Thursday. We are hopeful that he will be be well and okay.” said Dr. Ijirigho.
The 63-year-old coach Evans who is also a social activist, first came to Nigeria in 1975 and was instrumental to the rise of some Nigeria greats in the past.
He came back to Nigeria in 2009 on the bill of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, but ended up in Cross River after the AFN failed to regularise his contract.
Coach Evans’ work in Calabar, has been bearing fruits and this was noticed during the last Schools sports festival, where Cross Rivers won most of the athletics medals.