Incredible Adeleke and Alfred race to new lifetime best in 200m

As widely predicted, the University of Texas duo of Rhasidat Adeleke and Julien Alfred raced to new 200m lifetime bests in their first individual race of the 2023 NCAA outdoor season.

Irish-Nigerian Adeleke ran 22.34 to come third in the first 200m heat behind her schoolmate, Julien Alfred who ran 21.91, her first race inside 22 seconds, and Mississipi State University’s McKenzie Long (22.31) at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Florida Friday evening.

Alfred sets the world-lead, the University of Texas programme record and the St. Lucia national record with her time of 21.91 while Adeleke’s 22.34 is the fourth fastest time in University of Texas history.

All eyes were on the two sprinters from the University of Texas to start their individual outdoor campaign in the same personal and country record setting was they ended the indoor season.

The duo played huge roles in getting University of Texas Relay teams to set three new records at the Texas relays last month.

They helped University of Texas break three collegiate records in the 4×100 record (42.00), the 4×200 record (1:28.05) and the sprint medley relay record (3:36.10).

Adeleke came to Florida with a 22.59 personal best in the 200m while Alfred, the Saint Lucian athlete who won the 100m silver at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham came with a 22.46 best.

The impressive duo will be expected to go even faster. While Adeleke will be expected to become the first Irish girl to run a sub 22 seconds in the 200m, Alfred can only aim higher with an eye on the 200m podium at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August.

Nigeria’s Imaobong Nse Uko also ran a new lifetime best in the half lap event. Her 23.10 run shatters the 23.21 she ran last month and moves her closer to becoming the 22nd Nigerian to run inside 23 seconds in the 200m event.

Louisiana State University, LSU’s Ella Onojuvwevwo also raced to a new 23.35 lifetime best in the event.

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