Three weeks after finishing a spectacular indoor season Rhasidat Adeleke commenced what is sure to be a hectic outdoor season last weekend in a similar fashion to how she left off.
The Tallaght sprinting sensation helped her Texas University team to no fewer than three collegiate records on home soil in Austin.
Adeleke was victorious in five races but saved her best performance until last.
While most would've been spent after four races in two days, Adeleke found another ounce of energy from somewhere in her fifth and final one to run a blistering 400m leg of 49.2s, according to her coach Edrick Floreal, which helped Texas University to glory in the 4x400m relay.
This is how you run away from a World 400m-relay gold medal winner. @rhasidatadeleke with her fourth relay title in two days @TexasTFXC relays, got her at 49.2 split, taking that as official. The rest of the season can’t come quick enough. pic.twitter.com/c3UrMe3aqD
— Ian O'Riordan (@ianoriordan) April 2, 2023
Coach Flo described the weekend as the finest moment of his coaching career.
“Three collegiate records, here, is probably one of the greatest feats I’ve ever been part of,” he said.
“If you get one collegiate record it’s like ‘wow’, get two, it’s like what’s going on. But three? And those were the three we wanted to get, so it’s not accidental.”
"It was more of a guarded split,” Coach Flo said of Adeleke’s split.
“She was looking at the screen, to see where the girl was, as opposed to running her race. But she broke her spirit, in the first 250m, by going out so hard, in 22.2 (through 200m). At that rate it’s over."
That 49.2s split is faster than what she ran in the 4x400m final at the European Championships last summer and is also quicker than what she ran to help the 4x400m Mixed Relay qualify for the world final in Oregon.
Impressively she held off the threat of American Britton Wilson (Akransas) who beat her to gold at the NCAA Indoor Championships last month, setting a new American indoor record of 49.48s in the process.
Rhasidat Adeleke steps down in distance and records still fall
On Friday she competed in the medley relay running a 200m leg to help knock over two seconds off the previous collegiate best before returning to the track a short time later as part of the Texas 4x200m team.
The team comprising of Adeleke, Julien Alfred, Lanae-Tava Thomas and Kevona Davis clocked a collegiate record of 1:28.78.
Later on she teamed up with Alred, Davis and Ezinne Abba for the 4x100m relay and they once again struck success setting a new collegiate record of 42.00s. To put that into context the Irish national senior record stands at 43.80s from the European Championships in Berlin in 2018.
ANOTHER collegiate record for the Texas women!
42.00 4x1 at Texas Relays 🤯pic.twitter.com/x7gGcoRVDI
— Travis Miller (@travismillerx13) April 1, 2023
It has been a memorable start to 2023 for the 20-year-old who last month became the first Irish athlete to win a medal at a NCAA sprint event. She also set new Irish records over 200m and 400m.
Rhasidat Adeleke will have eyes firmly set on the World Championships in August in Budapest but before that in June she is set to compete at the NCAA Championships before returning home ahead of the European U23 Championships in Finland in July.
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