European Athletics Championships: Ireland’s 4x400m mixed relay gold medal ‘unbelievable’

Video explanation, Ireland storm to mixed relay gold

Irishman Chris O’Donnell said winning the 4x400m mixed relay title in Rome was “unbelievable” and “everything we dreamed of”.

O’Donnell, Rasidat Adeleke, Thomas Parr and Charlene Maudsley clinched Ireland’s first European Championships gold medal since 1998.

They finished 0.77 seconds ahead of Italy in a championship record time of 3:09.92.

The Irish foursome also took 1.61 seconds off the national record as Maudsley cruised to victory.

“Unbelievable, everything we dreamed of,” a delighted O’Donnell told RTE Sport after the race.

“When I started going to the apartment complexes, I really felt like I was doing it for the whole country.

“I wasn’t nervous, I was really excited because I saw these people next to me and the support we have on the field. It’s unbelievable, we can’t get over it.”

Comment on the photo, Chris O’Donnell, Rsiidat Adeleke, Charlene Maudsley and Tom Parr celebrate winning gold

Maudsley, who clocked 49.40 seconds in the 400m, recovered her final leg when she passed an Italian athlete before heading home.

“She was getting a little impatient, and I wanted to lead her around the corner, but then I said, ‘Just do it. I’ve trained my life for this,'” she said.

“Tom and I were saying earlier that we felt pretty good during the warm-up, and we were wondering what was going on.

“Honestly, that’s everything for me, and probably everything for the team. The whole stadium was great and the Irish fans showed up every time which is great.”

Adeleke highlighted the bond between the Irish squad ahead of their impressive performance on Friday night.

“It means a lot because we knew what we could do as a team. We were really strong and felt like it was our turn – to win a championship medal at senior level. We worked hard, and we believed in each other.” And this is what appeared on the track.”

Parr ran an impressive 44.90 seconds to collect his second European medal after winning bronze in the 400m hurdles in 2018.

“This was just a phenomenal performance. We knew what we could do at this point – we knew coming off the back of the World Relays that we had a really good shot.

“It wasn’t just a medal, but if we did it right on the day, which we did, we could have ended up with a championship record, close to the world record, and a gold medal, not just on the line.

“We’ve taken it seriously. This won’t settle for a while but we’ve got to enjoy it. It doesn’t happen very often. I’m a very happy athlete now.”

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