Rhasidat Adeleke has won a gold medal in the Girl’s 200m at the Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Baku today in a time of 23.92. This is the second gold medal that the Tallaght Athletics Club sprinter is bringing home from the EYOF having gone faster than the 24.36 she posted in the qualifying round of the 200m, and beating Hungary’s Mira Koszegi into silver, Serena Kouassi (France) rounded off the podium with bronze.
Adeleke won a gold medal in the 100m earlier this week, and she went into the 200m as favourite. Speaking about winning a double gold she said, “I’m just so happy. It was kind of a late decision to do both events, I was only meant to do one event, so to come away with the two gold is so unexpected. I’m just so happy. I just tried to have a really good bend, really fast, and just hold it for the last 100m. And I kind of felt like I was clear, so I was delighted.
“The Irish support here is amazing, I could hear it so loud when they call your name at the start, and then you hear all the support. It just makes you want to do really well.”
In the cycling Boy’s Road Race Darren Rafferty rode an aggressive race to finish eighth after 75km on the 25km circuit. “It was a really quick race from the off,” he described, “It was really hectic with everyone trying to get off the front. The speed was really high coming out of the first climb. Everyone was racing for positions. I was trying to stay to the front to not lose spaces. I was happy enough with how I was riding up the climb, then back into the descent I was staying around the front, staying comfortable.
“Coming through the feed zones bottles were flying everywhere, all over the ground. But I managed to stick in to the third lap, break of six men up the road and I wasn’t able to catch onto them. GB just blocked the second group. As I hit the bottom of the climb on the second lap I just gave everything I had to try to break away from the main peloton. As I came over the top of the hill I had a bit of a gap, and I just gave everything for the last ten km to try and get a better position because I knew if it came to a sprint I wouldn’t have a chance.”
Adam Gilsenan and Mark McGarry finished in 61st and 82nd positions respectively on the tough course.
In the Girl’s Road Race earlier this morning the course was two laps of the same 25km circuit, and the bunch split up completely early on, Aoife O’Brien was the highest Irish finisher in 47th place today just ahead of Erin Creighton who was 48th. Caoimhe May finished in 72nd place. “After the hill the race split up a lot, and that meant everyone came in bits and pieces,” Mullingar’s O’Brien said after the race.
Swimmer Molly Mayne booked her place in the final of the Girl’s 200m Breaststroke with at time of 1.10.97, the fourth fastest time going into tomorrow’s show down. Disappointed to not get a personal best time, the Dubai based swimmer who won a bronze medal in the 100m Breaststroke last night, was upbeat saying, “It went okay, it was better than this morning. It still wasn’t a personal best, I am just happy I dropped off from this morning.”
Tomorrow will see Molly Mayne compete in the Finals of the 100m Breaststroke at 14:36 Irish time tomorrow. While the Russian who won the 200m event last night is going into the final as a clear favourite, Mayne has qualified with a time within 0.07 seconds of bronze.
On the track high jumper Aoife O’Sullivan opened her EYOF campaign, jumping the 1.75m qualifying height on her first jump – she will now compete in the Final on Saturday.
Tommy Connolly ran a great race in the Boy’s 800m to finish fifth in his heat with 1.57.25.
In the Girl’s 2000m Steeplechase Wexford’s Roisin O’Reilly was 11th with a time of 7.21.33.
Tomorrow is a quieter day for Team Ireland in Baku with Mayne in action in swimming, and the Boy’s Medley Relay in the evening. The long wait will be over for Race Walker Emily MacHugh who competes in the 5km race, and Michael Morgan tackles the 3000m Final.
The EYOF is a European event for athletes aged 14-18 that runs every two years, and Team Ireland is represented by thirty-two athletes across five sports. Baku is hosting the 2019 edition which runs from the 21 – 27 July.
The daily schedule of Team Ireland in Baku can be found HERE
Rhasidat Adeleke 200m GOLD 1st (23.92)
Aoife O’Sullivan High Jump 6th (1.75m)
Tommy Connolly 800m 11th (1.57.25)
Roisin O’Reilly 2000m Steeplechase 18th (7:21:33)
Darren Rafferty Boy’s Road Race 8th (+15:50)
Adam Gilsenan Boy’s Road Race 61st (+9:04)
Mark McGarry Boy’s Road Race 82nd (+18:50)
Aoife O’Brien Girl’s Road Race 47th (+7:02)
Erin Creighton Girl’s Road Race 48th (+7:02)
Caoimhe May Girl’s Road Race 72nd (+15:50)
Molly Mayne 100 Breaststroke Semi-Final 4th (1.10.97)