Rhasidat Adeleke: The Nigerian-Irish Sprinter Trumping The Odds And Blazing The Trail

The heady thrill of the unveiling of unknown power. The glistening sweat of hard work behind the scenes. The sweet taste of glorious triumph on the world stage. What sets a man apart from his contemporaries? What makes a man comb through the toughest of obstacles to emerge victoriously?  Bravery, zeal, tenacity, undiluted passion!

In a world trying to bring down, slamming her opponents with the most basic of titles, doing everything within its power to downplay awesomeness with such baseless classifications as skin and race, it takes more than raw talent to push through. Rugged determination in the face of the most intimidating hurdles is the fire that blazes through the formidable.

At just 19, within such a short career span, Rhasidat Adeleke of Tallaght A.C, a 100m/200m self-proclaimed “highly competitive” sports star commands attention on the world stage. One of the finest talents dishing spectacular performances at her every contest, with calm and grace yet with undisputed courage and determination, eight sprint medals to show and counting, the talented Rhasidat undoubtedly stands tall amongst her rivals.

A shining star unafraid to unleash undisputed greatness on track, the Nigerian-Irish teenager has managed to carve a name for herself as a fast-rising talent with great hopes for a bright future ahead. In the 200m, the RTÉ Young Sportsperson of the year nominee rewrites the history books as the first sprinter since Jodie Williams to win a sprint double at the European U20 Championships.

But make no mistake, the journey hasn’t been a smooth sailing one, the teenager has since childhood, ditto her debut in the sports world battled racism, having to contend with racial stereotyping and vile derogatory comments on social media, particularly with international success. Nevertheless, with eyes on the prize, and hope for a better future, a world united regardless of differences, she keeps pushing through.

A look through her rise and we see her sporting trajectory ever-impressive even from age 14 in 2017 at the under-18 European Youth Olympics, in Hungary, where she stunned the audience to clinch silver in the 200m. After winning a junior sprint double at the Irish Schools Championships for Presentation College, she became a known name in the sporting world.

The Irish athlete scooped her first gold medal at the European Youth Olympics (EYOF) in Baku, Azerbaijan in the women’s 100m final, crossing the line comfortably at 11.70 seconds ahead of Johanna Klymanen (Finland) and Cheyenne Kuhn (Germany).

Last year 2021 proved super instrumental in introducing the natural-born superstar in the eyes of the world, impressively scooping an incredible two gold medals in a 100m-200m sprint double at the European Athletics U20 Championships in Tallinn, adding to her growing list of medals.

This year 2022, Rhasidat Adeleke, head and shoulders high, dominated big, setting a new Irish 200m record with a time of 22.96 while competing for the University of Texas at the Big 12 Championship in Manhattan.

Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke was born in Dublin in 2002 to Nigerian parents Ade and Prince Adeleke. She is ever grateful for the unwavering support of her mum whom she calls a hard worker, and whose strides drive her beyond words to achieve even bigger success.

Although the track star didn’t start off on with athletics but with basketball being her main sport, somehow along the line between ages 14 and 15, she found her true calling and has never looked back ever since.

Rhasidat Adeleke is a proud recipient of international medals such as the 2019 European Youth Olympic double Gold medalist (100m & 200m). 2018 European u18 200m Gold medalist. 2017 European Youth Olympic 200m silver medalist and 4x100m Bronze.

Young and making giant strides, well done!