Kaczmarek And Adeleke Enjoy Record-breaking 400m Battle

Kaczmarek and Adeleke enjoy record-breaking 400m battle

Polish and Irish records fall in the women’s one-lap race at the European Championships in Rome

Natalia Kaczmarek and Rhasidat Adeleke pushed each other to the limit in a pulsating women’s 400m on Monday (June 10) in Rome.

Kaczmarek and Adeleke enjoy record

With 48.98, Kaczmarek took half a second off her PB as she beat Irena Szewinska’s 48-year-old Polish record of 49.28.

Close behind, Adeleke improved her Irish record to 49.07 as they combined to produce a memorable European final.

The performances also place them 15th and 17th on the world all-time rankings. What’s more, they’re the fastest times by European women this century and the quickest since Marie-Jose Perec’s 48.25 in 1996.

Kaczmarek and Adeleke enjoy record-breaking 400m battle

“Coming to the start, I was dreaming about the Polish record but this 48.98 was something more than my imagination,” said Kaczmarek.

The 26-year-old from Poland won the 2019 European under-23 title and has improved relentlessly in recent seasons, winning mixed relay gold at the Tokyo Olympics and world 400m silver in Budapest last year.

Kaczmarek, whose partner is 22.25m shot putter Konrad Bukowiecki, has moved to a new level this year and she now looks like a genuine Olympic gold medal contender.

For Adeleke, this was her second medal of the week as she was part of the Irish quartet who won mixed relay gold.

Rhasidat Adeleke (Getty)

“I just wanted to make sure I always kept myself in contention, get to 200m, then make my move,” said Adeleke, who is from Dublin but trains in Texas alongside Dina Asher-Smith. “It was really good. I would have loved the gold, but I could have not made the final, there’s so many things that could have gone wrong.

“But I’m just grateful to be here, I’ll take my blessing and hopefully one day I’ll be able to get my gold.”

Behind the duelling top two, Lieke Klaver of the Netherlands claimed bronze in 50.08.

Britain’s Laviai Nielsen had run a PB of 50.73 in the rounds but finished sixth in the final in another PB of 50.71.

Nielsen, whose coach Tony Lester is recovering from a recent heart attack, said: “I was happy with that. Maybe I was a bit fazed by the race that was going on around me, so I had to claw it back it and push on in the home straight, but I am happy to come away with another PB.”

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