Rhasidat Adeleke finished an agonising fourth place in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
The rigours and battle-scars of an incredibly long season finally caught up on the Tallaght sensation, they had to at some point, and she was almost a second off her best in what will be her final run of the season.
But though fourth will leave a bitter taste, this is a season she will look back on in time with some pride.
For a 20-year-old to reach a global sprint final is remarkable, for one so young to finish in the top four is even more outstanding.
And when you consider that, unlike her professional competitors, Adeleke peaked for the NCAA’s in early June, and has been flat to the boards ever since, her fourth place finish becomes even more noteworthy.
The fortunes of her main collegiate rival Britton Wilson prove this very point.
Wilson was the great American hope coming into Budapest but, with the long season evidently catching up on her, she didn’t even make it out of her 400m heat.
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Rhasidat Adeleke finishes fourth in her first senior world final. ??
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) August 23, 2023
Adeleke mentioned afterwards how turning professional will help in the build-up to Paris. As a pro, she can’t run in the NCAAs next year, can focus solely on peaking for the Olympics and, all things considered, that’s bound to be a good thing.
“The main reason I turned professional was so I won’t be in the same predicament with college next year,” said Adeleke.
“I’ll be more fresh and be able to actually choose my races to gear towards the Olympic Games.”
“The time (49.20 in NCAA fina) I ran in June would’ve came second. Hopefully next year I’ll be in a better position to do that.”
The gold medal went to the Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino in a time of 48.76 with Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarey second in 49.57, Sada Williams was third in 49.60 with Adeleke back in fourth in a time of 50.13.
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