All eyes will be on Rhasidat Adeleke when the women’s 400m event at NCAA outdoor championships begins Thursday 2023 at the Mike Myers stadium in Austin, Texas as the Irish girl will be seeking to become the first University of Texas student-athlete to win the women’s 400m title since Chrisann Gordon of Jamaica last did in 2017.
Adeleke has been tipped by NCAA website analyst. Stan Becton to mount the podium as the 2023 NCAA outdoor championships 400m champion but the 20 year old knows it will not be a stroll in the park for her.
The University of Texas student-athlete knows she has a formidable opponent in Britton Wilson to contend with as she will also be seeking to become the fourth woman to break 50 seconds to win the title after Lynna Irby (49.80) in 2018, Athing Mu (49.57) in 2021 and defending champion, Talitha Diggs (49.99) last year.
She will also become the first University of Texas student to run inside 50 seconds to win the title if she manages to overcome Wilson and Diggs’ challenge.
Adeleke has been in great form since the start of the year, setting new personal bests in the 200m and 400m indoors and out.
Outdoors, she was part of three collegiate records at the Texas Relays, breaking the 4×100 record (42.00), the 4×200 record (1:28.05) and the sprint medley relay record (3:36.10).
She is one of just two athletes (Wilson) who have broken 50 seconds in the collegiate circuit this year and Adeleke will begin her race to immortality when she files out in the first semifinal heat of the 400m on Thursday.
Wilson will be running in the second semifinal heat while Diggs has been scheduled to run in the third semifinal heat.
The top two from each heat automatically qualify for the final and will be joined by the next best three non-automatic qualifiers.