Dublin sprinter Rhasidat Adeleke breaks her own 100m and 200m records on same weekend

Tallaght sprinter Rhasidat Adeleke eclipsed her own national 200m and 400m records at the weekend
Tallaght sprinter Rhasidat Adeleke eclipsed her own national 200m and 400m records at the weekend

TALLAGHT sprinter Rhasidat Adeleke continued her wrecking ball approach to the Irish record book last weekend, chopping huge amounts from her own national 200m and 400m records.

 The 20-year-old opened on Friday evening by stopping the clock over 200m at 22.34 seconds to better her own 22.52 seconds indoor mark. 

She returned to the track the following day to print her name indelibly in Irish athletics history by becoming the first woman from this island to break 50 seconds for the distance. 

Her 49.90 seconds clocking improved her own record of 50.33 seconds set indoors at Lubbock, Texas in February. 

Earlier this month, she was part of University of Texas relay quartets which set NCAA records in the 4x100, 4x200 and the sprint medley, before she anchored the 4x400m to victory with a hand-timed split of 49.2 seconds. 

Adeleke now holds all the Irish records from 60m indoors to 400m outdoors. There is no argument that she is possibly the best Irish prospect to emerge this century, even all-time. 

Adeleke’s 400m time at the weekend would have been good enough for fourth place at last year’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon and she is already being talked of being a medallist this year in Hungary. 

The pressure is already being put on her to take part, but could her participation be detrimental to her long-term development? 

The Corporate Communication major does not turn 21 until 29 August, six days after the 400m final in Budapest. 

Last year she had in the region of 50 races that spanned from the start of February until the European Championships toward the end of August. 

She is already fast approaching 20 races in 2023 and the outdoor season is only getting underway. 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships take place June (7-10) on her ‘home’ track in Austin and before then she has, among other competitions, the Big 12 Outdoor Championships and NCAA West Preliminaries.

After that, it will be the usual merry-go-round at home with Irish Nationals and possibly Morton Games and Cork City Sports. And then there is the European Nations Cup and the European U23 Championships. 

With next year’s Olympics already looming on the horizon, it promises to be a long summer for Adeleke. Let’s hope there will not be a price to pay in the long term.  


 Kathryn McDevitt (left), Sinead O’Regan, Avril Dillon and Snezana Bechtina were named relay squad of the year
Kathryn McDevitt (left), Sinead O’Regan, Avril Dillon and Snezana Bechtina were named relay squad of the year

Honour for Letterkenny sprinter Kathryn McDevitt in wake of personal tragedy 

IT was the best of years on the track, but it was also truly the worst of years for Kathryn McDevitt. However, out of the shadow of devastating personal loss, 2023 has just brought a small shaft of light with her 4x100m team from last year being named the relay squad of the year by the European Masters’ Athletics Association (EMAA). 

The Letterkenny AC sprinter was a key member of the Irish W40 quartet that last year won world titles in the 4x100m, 4x400m and the European 4x200m indoors.

“Anyone that knows me knows how much I live for relays, it’s always been a real honour to run in a relay from my first at Mosney [Community Games] in 1992,” said McDevitt. 

“Shared memories with the best of friends, team success is the best kind. We shared tears, laughs and the odd tantrum, but put a relay baton in our hands, spikes on our feet and it’s game on.”

That was the bright side of 2022. However, the worst darkness descended one afternoon in October. News filtered through that there had been an explosion in Creeslough. Kathryn was anxious as her sister worked in the Applegreen filling station there. 

Very soon her worst fears were realised. 

It was confirmed that Martina was one of 10 people who lost their lives in what was an utterly devastating tragedy.

“It’s at times like that, you realise how important your athletics is,” she reflected. 

“It gives you a release and a goal to keep going.  It was athletics and the athletics community that supported me and helped me get back on track. 

“Athletics also gave me my last special occasion with Martina when I came back from Finland with my two gold medals, and we all got together to celebrate.” 

And keep going she did. With the support of coach Trevor McGlynn, she continued her training:

“There were dark, dark nights when you wonder why but you get out.” 

That perseverance paid off when she reached the semi-final of the 200m at the World Indoors in Torun, Poland last month, running a personal best. 

Despite losing its best sprinter, Kathryn’s 4x200m team went home with bronze medals behind the USA and Britain.

The winners of all the EMAA categories, including Ireland’s Ann Gilshinan who was named as best female middle-distance runner, will receive their awards at the European Masters’ Stadia Championships in Italy this September. 


Evans Chebet retains Boston Marathon title 

THE Boston Marathon has always been an unpredictable race to forecast winners. 

Even with the world record holder and supposed GOAT running, that proved to be the case again. 

Always prone to the weather, this year’s race started in perfect running conditions, nine degrees and a slight wind, but quickly deteriorated as the rain pelted down over the second half of the race.

Eliud Kipchoge came into the race not only as world record holder and Olympic champion, but also looking to win his fifth of six big city major marathons after victories in Berlin (4), London (4), Chicago (1) and Tokyo (1). 

Kipchoge looked to be in control until just after the 30 kilometre mark when Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay made a surge as they entered an uphill part of the course. Unexpectedly, the Olympic champion was unable to respond, leaving Geay, defending champion Evans Chebet (inset), along with a second Kenyan Benjamin Kipruto, to fight out the top prize. Chebet’s strength proved decisive in the end up as he broke the tape in two hours, five minutes and 54 seconds (2:05:54). 

Geay followed ten seconds back, beating Kipruto by a mere two seconds. 

Chebet is just the sixth man in history to retain the Boston title and the first since 2008.

To his credit, Kipchoge soldiered on when many might have thrown in the towel, to finish sixth in 2:09:23. It was only Kipchoge’s third defeat in his previous 18 marathons: “I live for the moments where I get to challenge the limits,” he said in a statement distributed by the race organisers. 

“It’s never guaranteed, it’s never easy.  Today was a tough day for me. 

“I pushed myself as hard as I could, but sometimes, we must accept that today wasn’t the day to push the barrier to a greater height. In sports you win, and you lose and there is always tomorrow.”


Eilish McColgan
Eilish McColgan

London Marathon returns to traditional spring date on a Sunday

THE London Marathon returns to its traditional spring date on Sunday, and it looks like it will be bigger and better than ever. 

Both champions from last October’s race return to defend their titles with Amos Kipruto of Kenya and Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia ready to line-up on Sunday morning. 

As well as the defending champion, sub 2:02 performers Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia and Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya should contribute to an interesting race up front in the men’s race as will world champion Tamirat Tola and fellow Ethiopian and Birhanu Legese.

An even better women’s field has been assembled with two-time Antrim Coast Half Marathon winner Yalemzerf defending her title against world record-holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya and Dutch debutante Sifan Hassan. 

Debutante at the distance Eilish McColgan  (inset) leads the British challenge and will need to overcome the fuelling problems that saw her scratch from last year’s race.