Rhasidat Adeleke: Meet Nigerian-Irish Sprinter Blazing and Shattering European Records with Ease

Nigerian sprinter, Rhasidat Adeleke, born 29 August 2002 in Dublin, is one of the rising sprinters representing Ireland and is the first Irish woman to break the 50-second barrier in the 400 metres.

She currently holds six Irish national records – 60m indoors, 200m indoors and out, 300m indoors and 400m indoors and out.

Adeleke, in 2021 aged 18, stormed to her first senior national outdoor title then went on to win the 100m/200m sprint double at the European U20 Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. In August 2022, she placed fifth in the 400 metres final at the European Championships held in Munich, setting an Irish record of 50.53 seconds.

On 21 January 2023, the 20-year-old lowered her own national indoor 200m record with a world-leading time of 22.52s, the fastest time by a European woman since 2003, at the Martin Luther King Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico (at altitude). On 4 February, at the UNM Collegiate Classic also in Albuquerque, she set a new Irish indoor record in the 400 m with a world-leading 50.45s, the fastest time in history indoors or out by an Irish woman. Adeleke improved this mark to 50.33s the same month, on 25 February at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in Lubbock, Texas, breaking the NCAA record and putting her 14th on the respective world all-time list.

Adeleke started her outdoor season at the Texas Relays in Austin on 31 March 2023, shattering the collegiate record with a time of 3:36.10. Come 14 and 15 April, Adeleke demolished not one but both her national 200m and 400m records clocking 22.34 and 49.90 seconds respectively at the Tom Jones Memorial event in Gainesville, Florida, thereby becoming the first Irish woman to break the 50-second barrier at the longer races.

On 27 May within the same year, she further dropped her 400m Irish record to 49.54s at the NCCA Western Regionals in Sacramento, California. On 8 June, she was part of the Texas 4 X 100m relay team that won gold resetting the NCCA record at the semis at the NCCA Division 1 National Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas in 41.55s. 10th of June she again lowered her national record over 400 m to 49.20s winning gold in the final.

On January 20, 2024, Adeleke tore through her Irish national indoor 60m and 200m records at the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Collegiate Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico, running 7.15s and 22.49s respectively.