Rhasidat Adeleke sets two new Irish records in New Mexico

The sprint star will be aiming for a podium finish at the Paris Olympics later in the year

Ireland's Rhasidat Adeleke ahead of the Women's 400 Metres Final on day five of the World Athletics Championships at the National Athletics Centre, Budapest, Hungary. Picture date: Wednesday August 23, 2023.
Ireland's Rhasidat Adeleke (Martin Rickett/PA)

IRISH sprint star Rhasidat Adeleke opened her Olympic year in the best possible fashion with two Irish records at the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Make that four records if you include national U23 marks.

Adeleke had a run-out the previous week, taking part in a 4x400m relay in Louisville, registering a 51.74-second split but this was her first serious test of the new year.

On Saturday afternoon the 21-year-old Dubliner had a gun to tape victory in the 60m seeing off a strong field in 7.15 seconds, that sliced two-hundreds of a second off her previous Irish record set at the NCAA championships in 2022.

It was also the second fastest time in the world this year, although admittedly we are only three weeks into 2024.

Less than an hour later, the Tallaght club woman was back in her blocks for the 200m, lining up against NCAA champion Julien Alfred, her training partner at the University of Texas.

While Alfred sped to an impressive victory in 22.28, Adeleke stopped the clock at 22.49 seconds, erasing from the record books her 22.52 at the same meeting last year.

Adeleke, who will not be 22 until the end of August, now holds Irish records at 60m, 200m, 300m and 400m indoors and at 200m, 300m and 400m outdoors.

Only Sarah Lavin prevents a complete monopoly of women’s sprint marks with her 100m record of 11.27. It is hard to imagine that will last long come the outdoor season.

Fourth in the 400m at last year’s World Championships, Adeleke will be hoping for a podium in this year’s Paris Olympics.

In the meantime, she has yet to confirm if she will compete in the World Indoors at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena in March.

However, her coach, Edrick Floreal, did not rule out that possibility: “If she has a chance to go to World Indoors and win a medal then yes, great,” he said last month.

“If it’s not looking good, if she gets sick, then we scrap indoors and move on. It’s completely up to: does this preparation help our chances in Paris? All that matters is getting a medal in Paris.”