The RTE Sports Awards 2022 was held on Saturday evening, honoring the best in Irish sports for the year, and sprint sensation, Rhasidat Adeleke was named the RTE Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year.
Hosted by Jacqui Hurley, Evanne Ní Chuilinn, and Ruby Walsh, the event which was held at Studio 4 in Montrose on Saturday, celebrated a successful year for Irish athletics.
Katie Taylor was named the RTE Sport Sportsperson of the Year, while rowing duo Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy were named the RTE Sports Team of the Year. Vera Pauw received the RTE Sports Manager of the Year award after leading Ireland to World Cup qualification and Cork GAA legend Jimmy Barry-Murphy was inducted into the RTE Sports Hall of Fame.
Rhasidat Adeleke beat James Culhane, Eve McMahon, Isreal Olatunde, and Lisa O’Rourke to the award after glittering individual years. Gavin Bazunu claimed the 2021 title.
Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke announced herself on the world stage with a blistering run in the final of the women’s 400m at the European Championship in Munich, finishing fifth, and breaking her own new Irish record she set in May. Earlier in the year, the Tallaght woman also broke the Irish 60m indoor record.
Adeleke, who is only 20, has had an amazing year. She recently broke her own Irish record in the 200 meters at the Texas A&M Dual Meet, finishing in 22.59 seconds, bringing her into the properly world-class territory. She qualified for the World Championships in Oregon and the European Championships.
Adeleke has had a successful few months, setting the fastest 300-meter time by an Irish woman and breaking the Irish record in the 60 meters.
In her first indoor race of 2022, Adeleke ran the fastest 300m by an Irish woman, either indoors or outdoors, her 36.87 seconds also breaking the 37-second barrier for the first time. That’s also the fastest indoor time ever run over 300 metres by a European teenager.
Improving her previous Irish senior 200m record of 22.85 seconds, she set indoors in February at the New Mexico Classic in Albuquerque; that time improved the existing indoor mark of 23.10 seconds, which had stood to Phil Healy since 2020, and also Adeleke’s own outdoor record of 22.90 was set last year when completing the sprint double at the European Under-20 Championships in Estonia.
Then in May, she took back her Irish 60 metres record, running 7.17, days after Molly Scott ran 7.19 to win the Irish indoor title.
Born in Dublin in 2002 to Nigerian parents Ade and Prince Adeleke. Rashidat got her start in athletics at St Mark’s primary school in Tallaght in Dublin, about ten years ago when she was racing against the boys and beating them. She won a junior sprint double at the Irish Schools championships for Presentation College, Terenure.