Garden accessories to blend your indoor and outdoor spaces this summer
Garden accessories to blend your indoor and outdoor spaces this summer

Megan Burns

This six-bedroom home with a ‘a Christmas tree forest’ is on the market for €1.25 million
This six-bedroom home with a ‘a Christmas tree forest’ is on the market for €1.25...

Sarah Finnan

This Howth home has been given a bright, airy refurb
This Howth home has been given a bright, airy refurb

Megan Burns

A seafront Skerries home has been given a luxe update with rich colours and hotel-inspired details
A seafront Skerries home has been given a luxe update with rich colours and hotel-inspired...

Megan Burns

A stylist’s guide to chic beach cover-ups
A stylist’s guide to chic beach cover-ups

Sinead Keenan

The IMAGE Father’s Day Gift Guide
The IMAGE Father’s Day Gift Guide

Holly O'Neill

Modern food and wellness expert Aisling Larkin on her life in food
Modern food and wellness expert Aisling Larkin on her life in food

Sarah Gill

Women in Sport: Para-cyclist Richael Timothy
Women in Sport: Para-cyclist Richael Timothy

Sarah Gill

The Irish fashion design graduates to watch
The Irish fashion design graduates to watch

Ruth O'Connor

New Bridgerton episodes and Inside Out 2 – what to watch this week
New Bridgerton episodes and Inside Out 2 – what to watch this week

Sarah Finnan

Image / Self / Real-life Stories

Women in Sport: Track and field athlete Rhasidat Adeleke


By Sarah Gill
15th May 2023
Women in Sport: Track and field athlete Rhasidat Adeleke

Last month, Rhasidat Adeleke became the first Irish woman to break the 50-second barrier for 400m, taking half a second off her own record. Now, she's continuing her winning streak with victory over 400m at the Big 12 Championships in Norman, Oklahoma. On track (literally) to become a household name, read our chat with the sportswoman below...

Rhasidat Adeleke is a 20-year-old Dublin sprinter who has been steadily rising to the top of her game for quite some time now. With a number of national records and collegiate wins under her belt already, Adeleke broke the national outdoor record for 200m in a time of 22.68 this February, and a week beforehand, she ran the quickest indoor 400m by an Irishwoman.

Just last month, Rhasidat took home a silver medal in the 400m at the NCAA Championships in Albuquerque, and last weekend, she smashed her national best in the 400m, breaking the 50-second barrier in the process. With her sights keenly focussed on an Olympic title, the sky’s the limit for Rhasidat Adeleke.

Here, she gives us the lowdown of her sporting story so far…

Rhasidat Adeleke

Name: Rhasidat Adeleke

Profession: Track and field athlete

Earliest sporting memory?

Winning the 50m sprint at sports day when in was in primary school.

How did you become involved in your sport?

I was always very active growing up so I participated in multiple extra curricular activities. One of those being athletics after school! My teacher noticed how fast I was due to the fact that I was beating some of the boys! She then referred me to a running club and my sporting career furthered from that point.

What message would you like to share with young women and girls interested in pursuing a career as an athlete?

I have so many things to say about young women and girls interested in becoming athletes but I’ll keep it brief! A career in sport has so much to give, it isn’t always easy but there’s always benefits. It takes a lot of dedication and commitment, there’ll be times you want to quit or times where you miss out on life moments and events, but it will pay off. What you put in is what you get out of it! Try multiple sports and events, you’ll be surprised at what you’re good at! Remember that everyone develops differently, just because you mightn’t see immediate results doesn’t mean you’re not improving. The connections you will make are second to none so take advantage of it! Sport brings people together from all walks of life, some of these people can be potential friends, employers or even life partners. Lastly, be patient! Being successful in a sport is a fluctuating process.

Proudest moment so far…

I don’t have a specific moment but I’m proud to see that I’m becoming the athlete I always envisioned myself as growing up.

The female athlete I admire most is…

I admire Shaunae miller-uibo because she constantly dominates globally on the track and she does it with such elegance and grace. She has an amazing personality and is a great role model!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CoSo7brARqg

Favourite sporting memory…

Winning the European u18 championships in the 200m in 2018. This is because I had so much doubt in myself coming into the championships due to not being ranked in medal position. I changed my mindset after my semi final and ended up winning. It always reminds me about the importance of a good mindset.

Do you think there is still a stigma around women in sport?

Yes, although there’s been a lot of progress made in recent years, there’s still many ways we can improve.

What is the biggest barrier to driving visibility in women’s sports?

Promoting women in sport more is a huge factor in creating visibility. Allowing the world to grow with female athletes and understand their stories will improve engagement and visibility.

The biggest stigma/pre-conception that exists in women’s sport is…

Women’s sport isn’t as interesting as men’s.

If I wasn’t an athlete I would be…

A model.

My favourite pre-competition meal is…

Anything with chicken and rice/pasta.

My pre-competition playlist includes…

A lot of rap artists such as Lil Baby, Pop Smoke, Future and Gunna.

Rhasidat Adeleke

My daily routine is…

Wake up around 5:30am go to the weight room, get breakfast at home afterwards. Go to class at 9:30, get lunch , go to class again until 2pm. Train on the track around 3pm. Get dinner at 5:30. Go to a team meeting at 6 then go home and do homework and go to bed.

My biggest sporting goal is…

Inspire more people to participate in sports, win multiple world and Olympic titles, and become a household name.

Sports brands I love (Irish or otherwise)…

Nike, Gym + Coffee, and Adidas.

Biggest splurge to celebrate a win…

Have a get together with my friends and eat something unhealthy!

How do you mind your mental health?

I try to not compare myself to other people and talk to someone whenever I’m feeling troubled.

My three desert island beauty products are:

Sunscreen, lip balm and moisturiser!

I need 6 hours of sleep a night because….

If don’t get that, I’ll fall asleep multiple times during the day.

Confidence to me is…

Feeling genuinely good about yourself and not needing anyone to tell you to believe it.

How do you get over a bad performance?

I try to have short term memory and remember that one race doesn’t define me. I use it as motivation to bounce back.

Lastly, why is sport such an integral part of community, on local, national and personal level?

It brings people together from all walks of life. Strangers all now have something in common if it’s supporting a team or a specific athlete. It allows us to bond over something so special!

All imagery via @rhasidat_adeleke on Instagram.