Rising teenage sprint star Rhasidat Adeleke has taken down another Irish senior record, this time lowering the long-standing 400 metres mark which had stood to Joanne Cuddihy for 15 years.
Moving up from the shorter sprints, Adelele clocked 50.70 seconds, nailing third place in the final of the Big 12 Championships representing Texas University on Sunday evening. That was after setting a best of 51.70 just 24 hours earlier in qualifying, her first proper outdoor attempt at the distance.
Her time eclipsed the 50.73 Cuddihy clocked at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, some indication of the quality of the time. For Adeleke, who doesn’t turn 20 until August, it adds to her already dazzling collection of Irish senior records including the 60m, 200m, 300m and 400m. plus several more underage records.
She was then part of the Texas 4x100m team that ran a fast 42.35 seconds, also of world-class standard, her 50.70 also qualifying her for the World Championships in Oregon in July. Her college-mate Stacey Ann Williams took the win in 50.21.
In her second year at Texas, the Dublin-born sprinter continued her record-breaking spree in March, improving her own Irish 200m record to 22.59 seconds, that bringing her into properly world-class territory too. That also qualifies her for the World Championships in that event.
In her first indoor race of 2022, Adeleke also ran the fastest 300m by an Irish woman, either indoors or outdoors, her 36.87 seconds also breaking the 37-second barrier for the first time. She also took back her Irish 60 metres record, running 7.17, days after Molly Scott ran 7.19 to win the Irish indoor title.
Her time was one of five new Irish records set over the weekend: Louise Shannahan (Leevale AC) improved the 800m mark to 1:59:42; Eric Favors (Raheny Shamrock AC) improved the shot put record to 20.07m; Dean Casey (Ennis Track AC) ran an Irish U-20 10,000m of 28:57:34; and Sarah Healy (UCD AC) set a new Irish U-23 mile record of 4:29:03.