Irish sprint star Rhasidat Adeleke explains why she never feels tired after 400m run
The 20-year-old athlete is certainly getting people talking both at home and abroad.
Rhasidat Adeleke blazed into the headlines in February as she won the NCAA Big 12 Conference final in Lubbock, Texas in a time of 50.33 seconds, setting a new NCAA record and placing her 13th on the respective world all-time list.
Despite being so early on in her career, the University of Texas athlete is not letting her already huge achievements get to her head. "I definitely feel like I have a long way to go with it. I'm still learning about the training and competition side of things," she told us this week.
"My teammates were telling me how they feel after a 400 metres, they were like ‘oh yeah after the 400m I can't walk I'm so tired,’ and I was saying to them I never feel like that.
"I feel like I have so much more to give and maybe that comes down to me not knowing my limits yet. Due to the fact that I'm kind of new to the event and I’m much stronger than I was when I did it last year.
"I'm still not familiar with what my limits are. So I might go out a little too slow, I might go out slower than I actually can and that’s definitely something that I’m working on - being able to understand my body and understand how fast I can go without tensing up too much.
"So I definitely do think I have a long way to go, especially with the training as well. I just started in October and it's definitely been hard but I'm getting better each training session and getting stronger so yeah, I'm really excited to see what I can do in the future.”
To any young athlete, a trailblazing start to one's career can be a recipe for disaster. Pressure can mount on young shoulders and may sometimes be too much for those not prepared for such stresses. But Adeleke clearly has a wise head on her shoulders and is using her recent success to motivate her.
"It’s definitely extra motivation, I feel like each time that I achieve something, I just want more and especially if the previous time I achieved it I felt like there was still more in the tank. So I'm definitely excited to see what I can achieve next because I feel like I have that extra motivation from the previous performances. I just want to succeed more. I want to reach my full potential for what I've previously trained for this indoors season."
Adeleke really made a name for herself last summer. In August, the Dubliner placed fifth in the 400 metres final at the European Championships held in Munich, setting a national record time of 50.53 seconds. Her interview after stole the hearts of the nation as her humble response to her incredible performance shone through. Since then, she's only got the country more excited with her more recent record breaking achievements. It's something she is definitely taking notice of.
"One thing that I always appreciate about Ireland is the support. It definitely gives me that extra motivation to keep succeeding because I always get messages, especially when it comes to young girls as well like, ‘oh my niece joined an athletics club because of you' or 'we’re really supporting you, good luck’, just little messages like that keep me motivated.
"Some people were actually messaging me saying, ‘I got tickets for Paris for the Olympic final’ and oh my god, like, you have so much faith in me. Let me make sure I make that Olympics final so you can get your money’s worth for that ticket. Like the fact that so many people don’t know me personally but support me so much, it just makes me so happy that I’ve had an effect and bring joy to people, it just makes me want to continue doing that."
If you told me after 4 months of training for the 400m, I’d be running 50.3 indoors I would’ve laughed.
I’m soo grateful, but I’m not done yet.
I appreciate all the support!🤍
— Rhasidat Adeleke (@rhasidatadeleke) February 26, 2023
While support continues to rise for Adeleke at home and abroad, it's clear to see the Tallaght athlete has lofty goals in mind for her future. A potential spot in Paris 2024 beckons, but up next is the NCAA indoors next week. Adeleke will face Talitha Diggs, the American who broke the her record no less than 90 minutes after it was set.
A return to representing her nation is also around the corner with Adeleke saying she'll likely be at the European U23 Championships in July in preparation for the World Championships in Budapest in August. The competition will prove an exciting one for Irish fans and with Rhasidat Adeleke's rise at the forefront, the future of Irish athletics is dazzlingly bright.
Rhasidat Adeleke is the newest sporting ambassador of Allianz Insurance, as the brand commits to supporting the 20-year old’s bid to compete at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.
- Rhasidat Adeleke has smashed her own Irish indoor 400m record with a stunning run at the Big 12 university Championships in Texas.
- "It’s been a meteoric rise"- Stephen Kenny praises Evan Ferguson ahead of France clash
- Katie Taylor's homecoming fight against Amanda Serrano is officially off