Rhasidat Adeleke stormed home in first place in the girls’ 100m at the Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Baku on Tuesday.
Winning her first gold medal, the Dubliner crossed the line comfortably, in a time of 11.70, ahead of Johanna Klymanen (Finland) and Cheyenne Kuhn (Germany).
Adeleke, from Tallaght AC, won a silver medal in the last edition of the EYOF in 2017, competing in the 200m, as well as bronze in the girls’ 4 x 100m. She competes in the girls’ 200m on Thursday.
Speaking after her race, an ecstatic Adeleke said: “I just felt like I got a decent enough start. I tried to execute my race doing what my coach told me to – just drive, drive, drive.
“Hopefully by 60m I would try to pull away, and I think that is what I did. This is what I’ve been praying for all season, and to get the gold – I’m so happy. I’m ecstatic.”
Earlier in the week, Orwell Wheelers cyclist Caoimhe May was the top finisher for Team Ireland in the girls’ time trial at the Velo Park in Baku.
In tricky, windy conditions the Dublin rider finished the 10km course in a time of 17.01.66, 2.25.41 behind race winner Zoe Backstedt from GB.
Erin Creighton finished 30 seconds further back in 51st with 17.31.06, and flagbearer at the opening ceremony Aoife O’Brien was 59th in a time of 17.53.82.
Speaking after the race, May described a hard day on the bike, where she left everything on the road.
“It was more or less a headwind to the first corner,” she said.
“I tried to get across to the other side to get some wind block from the barrier in the middle, and the wind wouldn’t let me.
“I was leaning into the side and trying to turn my wheel and there was no hope of me getting across!
“It was a bit of a tailwind up the first part of the hill, but coming towards the top was absolutely awful!
“I hit a max heartrate and had a headwind right up to the top. I couldn’t have gone any harder. It was hard work all the way.”
In the time trial, riders race individually against the clock at one minute intervals. May caught her ‘Minute Person’ coming towards the finish.
“About halfway down the hill, when it started going into the wind towards the finish, I caught the girl who started a minute ahead of me so I was happy enough with that.
“You start to feel fairly confident then, it gives you more of a push when you know you are closing in on someone – it’s good.”