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Adeleke joins the Irish squad in the Bahamas to book places in the Olympic relay

RHASIDAT ADELEKE RETURNS to boost Ireland’s hopes of maintaining their impressive recent relay record by qualifying for the Paris Olympics later this year.

893 athletes from 54 countries will be in the Bahamas this weekend for the World Athletics Relay, where Olympic qualification will be decided.

Ireland has teams competing in the women’s 4x4oom and mixed 4x4o0m, events in which they have reached the global finals in the last twelve months.

The mixed 4x400m team finished eighth in the final of the Olympic Games in Tokyo and sixth in the final of last year’s World Championships in Budapest. The women’s 4x400m team, meanwhile, finished eighth in the final in Budapest and then did better with a fifth-place finish at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow earlier this year.

Adeleke was not part of any of those squads, but she is named in both the women’s and mixed squads in the Bahamas. She arrives in excellent form, having clocked a wind-assisted 10.84 100m in Texas last weekend.

Sharlene Mawdsley, Sophie Becker, Roisin Harrison and Phil Healey – who all ran in the Glasgow final earlier this year – have also been selected, and the team is completed by Lauren Cadden and Rachel McCann.

Thomas Barr has been included in the men’s selection, along with Cillín Greene, Christopher O’Donnell and Jack Raftery. O’Donnell competed in both the Tokyo and Budapest finals, while Greene competed in the former and Raftery in the latter.

The final squad for each of the Irish teams will be announced later today at around 2pm Irish time.

There are fourteen places to be won in each discipline in Paris. The top two from each heat on day one will secure their Olympic qualification, along with progression to the final on day two, where they will compete for prize money and a favorable draw in Paris. $40,000 will be awarded to the winners, while the eighth-placed team in the final will take away $2,000.

The remaining teams will take part in a repechage to be held on day two, with the top two teams over three heats also booking an Olympic spot.

The weekend will feature a total of five relay events: the women’s 4x100m and 4x400m, the men’s 4x100m and 4x400m, and a mixed 4x400m, which will see the stars of global sprint compete, led by two-time individual world champion Noah Lyles.

usas-noah-lyles-celebrates-winning-silver-in-the-men's-60-meter-final-during-day-one-of-the-world-indoor-athletics-championships-in-the-emirates-arena-Glasgow- photo-date-friday-march-1-2024

Noah Lyles. Alamy Stock Photo

Alamy Stock Photo

Lyles added a third world gold in Budapest last year after leading the US team to victory in the 4x100m relay. He will be joined this weekend by Olympic 200m silver medalist Kenny Bednarek and in-form Courtney Lindsey, while four women who helped the US to gold in the 4x100m will also be present in the Hungarian capital: Gabby Thomas, Tamari Davis, Tamara Clark and Melissa Jefferson.

Also in attendance are Dutch 400m hurdler Femke Bol, Italian Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs and a trio of Bahamian stars in the form of Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Olympic 400m champion Steven Gardiner and world indoor 60m hurdles gold medalist Devynne Charlton.

Bol leads an incredibly strong Dutch women’s team in the 4x400m, including world champions Cathelijn Peeters and Lieke Klaver.

Other big names in attendance include South African 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk, reigning 800m gold medalists Marco Arop of Canada and Mary Moraa of Kenya, and Botswana’s sprinter Letsile Tebogo, a surprise double world medalist from Budapest .

The event will be streamed live on the World Athletics website.

World Athletics Relays – Irish in action (local time/Irish time)

Day one (Saturday May 4/Sunday May 5)

  • Mixed 4x400m – Heats (19:05/00:05)
  • 4x400m women – series (21:05/02:05)

Day two (Sunday May 5/Monday May 6)

  • 4x400m women – Repechage round (20:30/01:30)*
  • Mixed 4x400m – Repechage Round (21:04/02:04)*
  • Mixed 4x400m – Final (21:40/02:40)**
  • 4x400m women – Final (22:10/03:10)**

*Subject to not qualifying for the final
**Depending on the heat

Irish selection

  • Rhasidat Adeleke (women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m)
  • Sharlene Mawdsley (women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m)
  • Phil Healy (women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m)
  • Sophie Becker (women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m)
  • Roisin Harrison (women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m)
  • Lauren Cadden (women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m)
  • Rachel McCann (women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m)
  • Thomas Barr (mixed 4x400m)
  • Cillín Greene (mixed 4x400m)
  • Jack Raftery (mixed 4x400m)
  • Chris O’Donnell (mixed 4x400m)

Reporting by – © AFP 2024