Rhasidat Adeleke moves into world-class territory with new Irish 200m mark

Irish sprinter lowered her own record to 22.59 at US college meet on Saturday

Record-breaking sprees on the track rarely come faster or more impressive than this, Rhasidat Adeleke once again improving her own Irish 200 metres record to 22.59 seconds, bringing her into properly world-class territory.

Still only 19, it was also one of Adeleke’s first outdoor races of the new season, the sophomore year student representing Texas University competing at the Texas A&M Dual Meet on Saturday.

With the perfectly legal +2.0m/s wind, Adeleke finished second behind Laila Owen of Texas A&M, who also ran a new personal best of 22.57 to take the win. For the Dublin sprinter, 22.59 seconds also qualifies her for both the World Championships in Oregon in July and the European Championships in Munich in August.

That improved her previous Irish senior 200m record of 22.85 seconds, set indoors in February at the New Mexico Classic in Albuquerque; that time improved the existing indoor mark of 23.10 seconds, which had stood to Phil Healy since 2020, and also Adeleke's own outdoor record of 22.90 was set last summer, when completing the sprint double at the European Under-20 Championships in Estonia.

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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. That’s also the fastest indoor time ever run over 300 metres by a European teenager.

Then last month she took back her Irish 60 metres record, running 7.17, days after Molly Scott ran 7.19 to win the Irish indoor title. Adeleke does not turn 20 until August, her time of 22.59 would have placed her fifth at the 2018 European Championships in Munich.

On the roads, meanwhile, David Kenny of Farranfore Maine Valley AC put in a fine performance to win himself a bronze medal in the 20k walk at the World Athletics Race Walking Tour Event gold level in Podebrady, Czech Republic.

The Tokyo Olympian improved his best by some three minutes to 1:19.44 on his way to also securing European and World qualification standards. He is now second only to Robert Heffernan’s 1:19:22 national record set back in 2008.

At the Manchester Marathon, there was another world age-group record for Tommy Hughes, who at age 62 ran a remarkable 2:30.05. An Irish Olympian in the marathon in 1992, Hughes has set a number of marks since turning 50, showing little sign of slowing down either.

The outright win there went to Britain's Jonny Mellor in 2:10.45, putting himself in the mix for selection at the World Championships. Aoife Cooke also ran a new personal best of 1:10.58 when finishing fifth at the Barcelona Half Marathon, the win there going to Margaret Kipkemboi Chelimo from Kenya in 1:05.26.