'It's my time, it's our time, it's everybody's time' - Adeleke brings more Irish joy

The 19-year-old star broke her own Irish record with a fifth-place finish in the European 400m final tonight.

Rhasidat Adeleke is interviewed by David Gillick for RTÉ after the race.
Rhasidat Adeleke is interviewed by David Gillick for RTÉ after the race.
Image: Tom Maher/INPHO

A SUPERB FIFTH-PLACED finish in a European Championship final, another Irish record broken and a heartwarming TV interview to boot.

Rhasidat Adeleke was just coming to terms with the height of her achievement and scintillating 50.53 400m as she was interviewed by David Gillick of RTÉ post-race in Munich.

The 19-year-old gathered her thoughts and spoke more and more eloquently as the conversation went on, not finishing without a beautiful mention for Isreal Olatunde, her close friend and training partner, and now Ireland’s fastest man after his own 100m heroics last night.

“I made a mistake in the heats, not the best lane in the final, so I knew I had to get out and hopefully stick with the girls,” the 6ft Tallaght powerhouse began, having been up against it in Lane 1.

“I gave it all I had, it as enough for a medal, I got a new national record and I’m happy. I wish I just had more in my legs for the last 50. It wasn’t enough unfortunately.

“I’m still new to the 400. My first year to run the 400, hopefully I’m gonna train for it this Fall and let’s see what I can do next year.”

Adeleke and Gillick relived the race — won by Dutch superstar Femke Bol in a PB time of 49.44, with Polish duo Natalia Kaczmarek and Anna Kielbasinska next home — together, and she later added:

“Honestly, I was really hoping for a medal, but I have to consider everything. This is like my 50th race of the season, I don’t know. To come here and to break the national record… and you know, so many people support us in Ireland, I just want to give them something back. Thank you for supporting me, thank you for rooting for me. Every single message, I really, really appreciate.

“I read one message — I don’t know who it was — and it was like, ‘No matter how you do tonight, I support you, we’re so happy for you,’ and I was like, ‘Wow!’”

Olatunde was trackside supporting, and he threw Adeleke an Irish flag and posted a lovely selfie of the pair on social media.

“My GOAT,” he wrote accompanying the image, as Adeleke returned the praise in spades.

Gillick joked that she may have wanted to get one better by finishing fifth after Olatunde’s own sixth-place outcome, to which the Dubliner laughed:

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“No! I would have hoped for a medal, but sure that didn’t happen. I was so, so happy for Isreal, he’s my friend. As soon as he joined athletics, we’ve been such good friends. I’m glad he’s getting the recognition he deserves, he’s always been making his way up and I’m just so, so happy for him.”

“It’s your time now,” Gillick beamed, before Adeleke came right back:

“Yeah, it’s my time, it’s our time, it’s everybody’s time. I’m happy to be here, grateful to God, I’m healthy. So many people get injured at this stage of the year and I’m just grateful to God that I’m still here.”

The University of Texas star will round off a glittering season and this European campaign with the 4x400m relay. The heats are scheduled for Friday morning, with Phil Healy, Sophie Becker and Sharlene Mawdsley also in contention.

“I can’t wait to run with the girls, hopefully we can get a medal, that would be absolutely amazing,” Adeleke concluded. 

About the author:

Emma Duffy

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