Athletics

Medal Madness: Sarah Healy, Rhasidat Adeleke and Sophie O’Sullivan

It’s been a European U18 Championships to remember for Team Ireland. Three gold medals, a silver medal and invaluable experience for all the athletes involved, capping off a sensational weekend of European racing. Sarah Healy, Rhasidat Adeleke and Sophie O’Sullivan won four medals for Ireland, making Ireland the highest on the women’s medal table.

On Sunday 8th July, Sarah Healy once again stunned the crowd at The Olympic Sport Park as she demolished the field and broke the Championship Record running a time of 4:18.71. Sarah, who is the number one ranked U18 athlete in the 800m, 1500m and 3000m, showed why she is one of the most astonishing talents in Ireland. After the race it was noticed by many that Healy was the only girl left standing, with her competitors giving everything trying to chase her, while she made the racing look like a walk in the park. Check out the action below!

The 1500m win sealed Sarah’s second gold medal of the championships. On Friday, competing in the 3000m, of which she made a late decision to enter, Sarah looked incredibly calm and composed to take home victory with another Championship Record in 9:18.05. In her last kilometre of the race, Sarah ran 2 minutes 57 seconds, which is the equivalent of 20km/h on the treadmill!

The recent form Healy has shown is hugely encouraging for Irish athletics, undoubtedly inspiring and pushing more Irish athletes. Just last month she ran the fastest 1500m of any U18 in the last 32 years! The future looks bright for Blackrock Athletic Club’s star.

The success didn’t stop there for Team Ireland. 15-year old sensation Rhasidat Adeleke appeared to surprise herself as she took home gold in the 200m. Rhasidat held off France’s Gemima Joseph storming to victory in 23.52. Adeleke again bettered her PB of 23.77 which she ran in the semi-final earlier in the day.

The Tallaght Athletic Club superstar only realised she won the final after the camera panned on her. Shedding tears of joy after the race, Rhasidat spoke of her shock and delight. It’s an exciting time for Ireland in sprinting as the talent coming through looks immense. With Rhasidat, Patience Jumbo-Gula, Ciara Neville and Gina-Akpe Moses, we are sure to have much more success in the coming years.

Finally, in the 800m, Sophie O’Sullivan, making her first appearance in the green vest, brought home silver in a well fought race. Sophie tactically held on to the leading group in the first lap, moving with the leaders as they began to pull away.

She made her move on the back straight, pushing hard around the bend. It was a dog fight in the final straight, with two competitors hot on her heels but Sophie managed to hold on, pushing herself to cross the line in second position. Sophie ran a new PB of 2:06.05 and won a silver medal on her debut for Ireland.

Sophie O’Sullivan is the daughter of one of Ireland’s most talented and successful athletes ever; Sonia O’Sullivan. Sonia travelled with her daughter to Gyor, with her excitement and pride caught on camera during the final. It was refreshing to hear Sonia speak of how she tries to avoid putting pressure on her daughter, simply wanting her to enjoy the sport.

Without a doubt, this has been a hugely successful Championships for Team Ireland. The Irish team finished 7th overall on the medal table standings.

One thing that really stood out in Gyor was the team spirit and camaraderie amongst the Irish athletes. There was genuine delight and pride for the girls who picked up medals. The medals won at this competition will only breathe more of a winning culture into Irish Athletics.

The focus will now turn to the IAAF World U20 Athletics Championships in Tampere which kicks off tomorrow, running from the 10th – 15th July. Sprinter, Ciara Neville in the lead up to the competition:

Rhasidat Adeleke and Patience Jumbo-Gula will travel from Gyor to Tampere to link up with the rest of the squad. The pair will compete in the 4x100m event. The full squad is detailed below:

IAAF World U20 Athletics Championships
AthleteClubEvent
Ciara NevilleEmerald AC100m & 200m & 4x100m
Gina Akpe-MosesBlackrock-Louth100m & 200m & 4x100m
Ciara DeelyKCH AC400m
Davicia PattersonBeechmount Harriers AC400m
Jo KeaneEnnis Track800m
Molly ScottSt. L. O’Toole AC100mh & 4x100m
Sommer LeckyFinn Valley ACHigh Jump
Niamh O’ConnorCelbridge AC10k Walk
Orla O’ConnorWaterford AC10k Walk
Lauren RoyCity of Lisburn4x100m relay
Patience Jumbo-GuSt. Gerard’s AC4x100m relay
Rhasidat AdelekeTallaght AC4x100m relay

 

HerSport Editor

Her Sport is a media platform centred on bringing the latest Irish and international women’s sports news. Her Sport aims to empower women in sport, inspire more female participation, increase opportunity and level the playing field for future generations. Our objective is to create real and tangible change.

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