Athletics wrap: Rhasidat Adeleke breaks Irish 200m record

Hiko Tonosa impresses in Portugal; Ireland finish third in DNA meet in Glasgow

With gathering pace it seems Rhasidat Adeleke has maintained her record-breaking start to the indoor season, improving the Irish senior 200m record to 22.85 seconds – faster indeed than her own outdoor mark.

Competing at the New Mexico Classic in Albuquerque, Adeleke, still only 19, took second place and with that improved the existing indoor mark of 23.10 seconds, which had stood to Phil Healy since 2020; Adeleke's outdoor record of 22.90 was set last summer, when completing the sprint double at the European Under-20 Championships in Estonia.

Now in her sophomore year at the University of Texas, last month, in her first indoor race of 2022, Adeleke 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. That's also the fastest indoor time ever run over 300 metres by a European teenager.

She's now the first Irish woman to run under 23 seconds indoors, her form suggesting the Irish senior 400m record is now well within reach, if or when she steps up to try that distance. She's been a regular in the 4x400m relay team with Texas already. Competing in the 600m, Davicia Patterson, also now at Texas, took the win 1:29.51.


Competing at the European Champion Clubs Cup Cross Country in Oeiras, Portugal, Hiko Tonosa produced one of the best-ever Irish performances by taking third place in the men's race, representing Dundrum South Dublin.

Six nations

At the first six nations international in the Dynamic New Athletics format, otherwise known as DNA and staged at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Ireland managed third place overall, the match involving England, Scotland, Wales, Spain and Portugal.

Spain took the win ahead of England, the team podium positions – after 10 events of running, jumping and throwing – decided on the final event known as The Hunt, a medley relay of 800m-600m-400m-200m. Alanna Lally, Roland Surlis, Róisín Harrison and Eanna Madden made up the quartet.

Several Irish athletes set personal bests across the programme, Tokyo Olympian Louise Shanahan taking second in the 800m in a seasonal best time of 2:04.73. Kate Doherty also took second in the 60m hurdles, in a best of 8.25 seconds.

Off the back of several fine 60m performances, Molly Scott took second to Spain's Olympian Maria Isabell Perez, with a time of 7.33 seconds, Israel Olatunde third in the men's 60m in 6.68 seconds.

The Irish indoor mile tradition was turned back on in style by Andrew Coscoran and Luke McCann in New York on Sunday, Coscoran taking the victory at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in a world-class time of 3:53.64, with McCann hot in his heels in third, clocking 3:53.87.

A significant improvement for both athletes, Coscoran also produced the first Irish victory at the World Athletics Indoor Tour gold meeting, the latest stop being staged in Staten Island, a week after the Millrose Games.

On that occasion, Coscoran committed early to the pace of the Wanamaker Mile, only to finish in 12th, just outside four minutes; here the Dublin runner moved through the field, kicking hard over the last lap to win in convincing fashion, the American Colby Alexander second in 3:53.83.

Coscoran’s 3:53.64 was almost two seconds better than his previous outdoor best of 3:55.59, clocked last summer, while for McCann, his 3:53.87 improved the indoor best of 3:58.21 set last weekend also in New York. It also moves them to sixth and seventh on the Irish all-time indoor list, and the fastest indoor miles run by any Irish athlete since 2013.

For both athletes it’s also a significant boost in confidence ahead of next month’s World Indoor championships in Belgrade. Also competing in Staten Island, Sarah Lavin clocked a season best of 8.10 seconds when taking fifth in the 60m hurdles, while Georgie Hartigan took eighth in the 1,500,m, running 4:15.42, with Síofra Cléirigh-Buttner finishing 10th in the same race in 4:18.01.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics