Ireland Secures First European Gold in Athletics Since 1998

Ireland clinched its first European Athletics Championships gold medal in 26 years with a remarkable win in the 4x400m mixed relay in Rome.

The victorious Irish team, composed of Chris O’Donnell, Rhasidat Adeleke, Thomas Barr, and Sharlene Mawdsley, finished 0.77 seconds ahead of Italy. The Netherlands, featuring the highly-regarded Femke Bol, claimed bronze.

Bol was unable to close the gap during the final leg, with the Dutch team finishing 0.81 seconds behind Ireland, which broke the national record by 1.61 seconds. The previous record was set during their third-place finish behind the USA and the Netherlands at last month’s World Relays in the Bahamas.

Mawdsley achieved a split time of 49.40 seconds, 0.13 seconds faster than Adeleke’s, while O’Donnell clocked 46.09 seconds, and 400m hurdler Barr delivered an impressive leg of 44.90 seconds.

After O’Donnell’s solid opening leg, Olympic hopeful Adeleke positioned Ireland into serious contention by outpacing Bol’s teammate Lieke Klaver. Barr maintained the gold medal hopes with a strong performance, handing over to anchor runner Mawdsley in second place behind Belgium.

Mawdsley surged into the lead with just over 100 meters remaining, finishing strongly to cross the line in 3 minutes 9.92 seconds.

Previously, legendary distance runner Sonia O’Sullivan was the only Irish athlete to win European gold, achieving the 5,000m and 10,000m double in 1998, following her 3,000m title win four years earlier.

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