18-year old Rhasidat Adeleke is making waves over in America, in what is her first year at the University of Texas. After breaking the Irish Junior 400m indoor record in February, Adeleke broke the Irish Junior 200m record for the second time in two weeks earlier in April. Now, the former European Athletics U18 Championship gold medalist has taken her 200m exploits to new heights.
The former Tallaght Athletics Club runner ran a wind assisted (+2.7) 23.00 at the Texas Invitational. It’s not accepted in the record books as a result of the strong winds but her time would have moved her an astonishing second on the all-time Irish list just 0.01s away from Phil Healy’s Irish record. Adeleke’s time would have also broken her own Junior record by 0.25s which she sent at the start of April this year. It appears to be only a matter of time until she does so.
This lady @rhasidatadeleke is a HUGE talent ??? https://t.co/XibnQpD6xN
— Derval O'Rourke (@DervalORourke) April 30, 2021
To put things into context, no female Irish athlete except for Phil Healy has run faster in the last 19 years. Before this year, Adeleke’s previous personal best in the 200m was set in 2019 at 23.52. Adeleke set this the same year that she won double gold at the European Youth Olympics in Baku. While Adeleke focused on the 400m event during the indoor season, the 200m outdoor event has always been her favoured event.
At present, the current automatic Olympic standard qualification time is 22.80 and that leaves Adeleke just 0.20s off her ticket to Tokyo.
A look at our top 200m finishers this afternoon. ?
2. Kynnedy Flannel (22.52 - PR, NCAA No. 3/UT No. 2)
6. Rhasidat Adeleke (23.00 - PR, NCAA No. 15)
7. Kevona Davis (23.02)
8. Stacey Ann Williams (23.06 - PR, NCAA No. 21)
— Texas T&F/XC (@TexasTFXC) April 30, 2021