20 years old, Rhasidat Adeleke, rising to the top of the world's sprint elite

Rhasidat Adeleke is putting Irish sprinting on the map.
Etusuora: 16.04.2023 19:49Athletics
20 years old, Rhasidat Adeleke, rising to the top of the world's sprint elite
Photo: Olavi Kaljunen / Trackpic
The name Rhasidat Adeleke may have already been familiar to many athletics enthusiasts, but her great performances in the United States this weekend have brought the young Irish athlete to the attention of a wider audience.

At just 20 years old, Adeleke set a new national record in the 200 meters with a time of 22.34 on Friday, and a day later, she once again made headlines by running the 400 meters in 49.90, setting a new Irish record. Adeleke finished second in the race, as Britton Wilson set the world-leading time of 49.51.

Adeleke's times from the weekend would have ranked her third in the European rankings last season.

At the 2022 European Championships, Adeleke finished fifth in the 400 meters with a time of 50.53. In the 2021 European Junior Championships, Adeleke won double gold in the 100 meters and 200 meters.

Adeleke is becoming a serious contender for winning medals in major championships in the coming years - and perhaps even this summer at the Budapest World Championships. Irish athletes have not had much success in sprint events at major championships, with the best result in the World Championships being sixth (David Gillick, 2009) and fifth in the European Championships (Gillick, 2010 & Adeleke, 2022).

Adeleke is currently studying at university in Texas. Her performances in European competitions have been limited due to the high number of university competitions during the indoor and spring seasons.