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Dublin teenager blows Youth Olympics away

Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Dublin’s Rhasidat Adeleke underscored her prodigious talent last weekend by sealing a superb sprint double for Ireland at the European Youth Olympics in Azerbaijan.

The 16-year-old from Tallaght produced an emphatic performance to claim 200 metres gold at the Tofig Bahramov Stadium, adding to her 100 metres title she won earlier last week.

President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to the up-and-coming athletic star.

“It gives me great pleasure to once again send my congratulations to Rhasidat Adeleke,” he said. “Her impressive performance tonight saw her win gold in the 200m sprint at the European Youth Olympics in Baku – her second gold medal of the games.”

Adeleke finished ahead of Hungary in second and France’s Serena Kouassi in a time of 23.92.

“I’m just happy. It was kind of a late decision to do both events but to come away with the two golds is just so unexpected. I’m so happy,” she told the The 42.ie website. “The Irish support is amazing, the crowd were so loud. It just makes you want to do really well.”

Last year, the Tallaght AC starlet won 4x100m relay silver for Ireland at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, alongside Molly Scott, Gina Akpe-Moses, Ciara Neville and Patience Jumbo-Gala.

Adeleke also won gold in the 200m at the 2018 European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor, Hungary.

Still a summer out from her Leaving Cert year at Presentation Community College in Terenure, the Tallaght AC athlete is not 17 until September.

Adeleke first came to major prominence when, as a 14-year-old in 2017, she won a junior sprint double at the Irish Schools championships. That summer – still just 14 – she won the Youth Olympics silver medal over 200m.

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