Rhasidat Adeleke sets new Irish indoor record

By Daire Walsh

Tallaght’s Rhasidat Adeleke set a new landmark in her burgeoning athletics career on Saturday evening by breaking the Irish Junior 400m indoor record.

Representing the University of Texas at the nearby Sports Performance Center, the talented 18-year-old registered an impressive time of 53.44 in the Big 12 Championships. This helped her to secure a sixth-place finish in the race - just under two seconds behind eventual winner Stacey Ann Williams (51.60).

Tallaghts Rhasidat Adeleke set a new Irish Junior Indoor 400m record in

Tallaght's Rhasidat Adeleke set a new Irish Junior Indoor 400m

As a consequence, she is now ranked third fastest amongst European U20 athletes, behind Kennedy Simon and Shalysa Wray.

A goal medallist at the European Athletics U18 Championships in 2018 - and a double gold winner at the European Youth Olympics a year later - her star continues to rise. A former student of Presentation Community College in Terenure, Adeleke had set a personal best run time of 54.14 in her heat race on Friday.

Thanks to her recording-breaking exploits, she is now placed 16th on the European U20 indoor all-time list.

During her time in Tallaght AC, Adeleke was coached by Daniel Killgallon - a native of Ballina in County Mayo who was appointed as National Sprints Co-ordinator by Athletics Ireland in May 2018. What makes her achievement all the more remarkable, in his eyes, is the fact she’s done so after such a dramatic change of scenery.

"She has done that within eight weeks of moving to a new country, starting university, with a new living environment, new coach, not to mention a new event. It's very impressive. She's really showing her mettle,” Kilgallon said.

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