Athletics Thread

That’s a nasty fall for Sarah Lavin in the Diamond League on Virgin Media 2

https://twitter.com/vmsportie/status/1788982998748062123?s=46&t=YOfhVM10W0bcyIiYSLI3Wg

Was that not fifth place?

It was, they bizarrely misclassifed but fixed it quite quickly

I hope this young lady goes onto be another big star. European U20 champion last year

Indo going deep on the ladies pursuing Olympic qualification today. Tommy Carrs daughter trying to qualify in the triathlon

On her marks: Rhasidat Adeleke graduates as hectic summer of action awaits

Rhasidat Adeleke: in the Bahamas, her 400 metres split time of 48.45 seconds in the mixed relay was the fastest ever recorded at the World Relays. Photograph: Warren Grant/Inpho

This is an apt time for reflection on another week in the life of . Suitably fast and ever progressive. No looking back, only on towards bigger and more exciting things.

From the World Athletics Relays in the Bahamas, where over two days she enjoyed a graduation of sorts by helping Ireland seal two Olympic qualifications and win bronze medals, it was straight back to Texas to enjoy her graduation in the finer educational sense.

Both equally big deals for the 21-year-old Dublin sprinter.

In the Bahamas, her 400 metres split time of 48.45 seconds in the mixed relay was the fastest ever recorded at the World Relays, faster on the night than the reigning Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo from the Bahamas (49.54), reigning World 400m champion Marileidy Paulino from the Dominican Republic (48.93) and world indoor record holder Femke Bol from the Netherlands (49.63).

Straight after that came the week-long commencement ceremonies at the University of Texas at Austin, Adeleke joining their famous sporting alumni that includes basketballer Kevin Durant and golfer Jordan Spieth, and also actors Matthew McConaughey and Jayne Mansfield.

“It was like a whole week of ceremonies, one for international students, one for the track and field team, one for the college you’re in, then overall for everybody,” says Adeleke, who was joined by her mother Ade, brother Abdullahi and sister Latifah.

“I was supposed to graduate in December, but I just took more classes, so that I could graduate early, so it was really fun. And it is equally important, track isn’t going to last forever, being able to continue being successful elsewhere, post track, is definitely my goal.”

Her degree is in Corporate Communications, and she’s already thinking about a MA in Finance in another year or so. Only for now, everything is building towards the Paris Olympics, so far falling neatly into place.

“It definitely took me by surprise,” she says of that 48.45 second split.

“I was in a heavy training cycle, had a fast session of 200s on the Thursday and that whole week I’d been doing a lot of sessions. The first 4x4, I went in a little scared, I didn’t know where I was going to be. Then to split a 49 and then 49 again and went faster again, and it helped build my confidence.”

She’ll bring that confidence into this Saturday’s Los Angeles Grand Prix meeting, moving down to the 200m to face-off against the leading trio of US women: Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, the world record holder in the 400m hurdles; Gabby Thomas, who won Olympic bronze in Tokyo, and Abby Steiner.

Rhasidat Adeleke: ‘The past couple of weeks have given me confidence that I can compete against anybody in the world,’ Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

“The past couple of weeks have given me confidence that I can compete against anybody in the world,” says Adeleke, who also ran a wind-assisted 10.84 seconds for 100m the weekend before the Bahamas.

“Once you have confidence, I feel like you can take anybody down. My goal is to go in there open minded, don’t be scared of any big name, don’t give them too much respect.

“In the past, at Worlds in 2022, when I was competing against Shaunae Miller-Uibo, I kind of let her go because I felt like she was supposed to be in front of me. She’s world champion, Olympic champion, she’s faster than me, she’s supposed to be ahead. But sometimes, don’t give them too much respect and let them run away from you. I’m going to go in there open minded and see what I can do. I surprise myself every time.”

Speaking via Zoom from her training base in Austin, Adeleke also references the enduring confidence of her coach Edrick “Flo” Floréal*;* “Honestly, Flo was like ‘why are you surprised? I hate when you do that, don’t act all surprised because you know that you can do this’.

Over the weekend, former world 400m record holder Michael Johnson also posted on X that “Track is in pretty good hands the next few years”, listing “Rhasidat” among the names of the next generation.

“I think I am growing as an athlete, getting out there more, and I definitely appreciate that,” she says. “There are so many spectacular athletes in this sport, so to be able to be recognised as one of the up-and-coming athletes to look out for, that definitely gives me some extra motivation, to make sure I live up to that.”

At next month’s European Championships in Rome, she’ll run either the 200m of 400m, and while her individual schedule will likely force her out of the mixed relay, her inclusion in the women’s 4x400m is certainly possible.

As for Paris, coach Flo is unwavering in his prediction: “He thinks I can medal, for sure. He always says, ‘this is what we need for you to get this medal’.

“He definitely thought I could get a medal at last year’s Worlds as well. Honestly, he thinks that if the Worlds were even two weeks after NCAAs because I was in really, really good shape in that period [running 49.20].

“I definitely thought I could still medal, but I just didn’t have it then. But he still has that same ambition for me, so hopefully this time around we’ll be able to achieve it.”

– Rhasidat Adeleke is an Allianz ambassador for the Stop The Drop campaign, encouraging participation in sport as students transition from primary to secondary school.

This is mad to think of, when most other athletes would have been just spinning the legs the week of the relays. Her speed over the last 200m is definitely noticeable from all the relays. Where last year she looked to be tying up over the last 50m, this year she seems to be going her fastest in the last 100m (or else everyone she’s running against is tying up while she’s keeping the same speed)

Sharlene banks and auto Q for Paris with a 50.72PB in Poland today

Rhasidat out over 200m later tonight in LA

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I never thought I’d see the day when I’d recommend something with Robbie the Racist and Derval with the permanent staring bitch face but the below is actually a decent listen. Gillick does a good job of diluting the Corkness and its worth a listen for his description of his Beijing experience alone. New episode dropping every week

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22.45 for Rhasidat around 0.1 outside her Irish record. Think she was 5th. She’s said she’ll run the 200m in Rome for the Europeans before focusing on the 400m in Paris. Sydney McLaughlin won easily in just over 22 seconds. Was well ahead of the rest

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Efrem Gidey runs within 0.45s of Alistair Craggs 10,000m record. He’ll smash it soon enough and hopefully get enough publicity to send the looney Ireland is full brigade ballistic

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McLaughlin is some athlete. Thankfully she’s running 400m hurdles at the Olympics. She will beat Bol.

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