'I feel she shouldn't have been disqualified for that' - Adeleke on Mawdsley decision

Rhasidat Adeleke was proud to see the Irish 4x400m relay team finish fifth in the final of the World Indoor championships.

RHASIDAT ADELEKE SAYS it’s difficult to say if the Ireland women’s relay team would have medalled if she was running at the World Indoors last weekend, and feels Sharlene Mawdsley was harshly treated in being disqualified for the individual event.

Phil Healy, Sophie Becker, Roisin Harrison, and Sharlene Mawdsley finished fifth in the final at the competition in Glasgow, with Mawdsley clocking the second-fastest lap of the field in a time of 50.47.

Adeleke has competed with the team in the past and was pleased to see how well the Ireland team battled among the best in the world.

“It was so exciting. It’s amazing to see that we can really get up there to be medal contenders. Ireland is always known for distance [running] but we’re definitely a force to be reckoned with in the relays. They’ve proven that over the years making finals Olympics, World Championships so they’re becoming consistent now.”

Commenting on whether she believes Ireland could have earned a podium position with her on the track, Adeleke added:

“Who knows? You could say if I was there but anything can happen. They did exactly what they were capable of and I’m just really proud of them.

“I’m glad that I’m here [Adeleke is based in University of Texas] getting hard work in. If I had went, I would have had to taper [training] for a little bit and then when I came back, I probably would feel a little fatigued and would miss another week of training.”

The Irish team was impacted by some controversy at the World Indoors following the disqualification of Mawdsley in the individual 400m. The Tipperary native was denied a place in the final over an alleged infringement during the semi-final where she finished third.

“I’ve seen a couple of comments that they were picking and choosing when they wanted to apply that rule so I just feel like she shouldn’t have been disqualified for that,” says Adeleke. “Indoor running is always going to be a little bit of budging. She was just very unfortunate and very unlucky because she definitely deserved to be in that final.”

Adeleke was scheduled to run with the 4x400m relay team at last year’s World Athletics Championships. However, a decision was taken to withdraw her from the event in Budapest where she finished in fourth place in the individual 400m final.

With the Olympics on the horizon, the 21-year-old says there will be more opportunities for her to link back in with the Ireland relay squad at upcoming competitions. Her own outdoor season begins with the Texas relay championships at the end of the month.

“Oh yeah definitely,” she begins. “I think there’s going to be an opportunity or two there to run again, and hopefully coming up to the championship season, we’ll hopefully have some chances to get into finals or medal. That’s definitely the goal.

“I know there’s World Relays and that’s an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics so I would definitely love to be with the girls there and give ourselves a shot of being at the Olympics and making an Olympic final.”

Plans have not yet been finalised on the finer details of her schedule leading into Paris, but the Tallaght sprint sensation is treating an Olympic year like any other season.

“I just take it like any other competition. You have to remind yourself that it’s a race and you’re going to be running the same distance that you’ve always ran. The track is going to be the same as you’ve always done. I don’t let it consume me or be scared of the big Olympics. It’s an opportunity that a lot of people would love.”

KPMG HAS announced a new partnership with Rhasidat Adeleke.

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