IRISH ATHLETIC'S star Israel Olatunde has sealed his place in Irish sporting history by becoming the fastest Irishman. Olatunde qualified for the 100m final at the European Athletics Championships in Germany on Tuesday night.
The 20-year-old ran a time of 10.17 seconds, and finished in sixth place, which made him the fastest Irishman in history. He beat Paul Hession's record of 10.18 set in 2007
The Dundalk native said to be able to set the new record is 'amazing'
"To be able to call myself the fastest man in Irish history is just amazing," Olatunde told RTÉ Sport.
"To be here in a European final, finish sixth and get a national record, I just can’t believe it. I had no idea I ran that fast. It's a dream come true.
"The atmosphere was amazing; the crowd was amazing. These are the fastest guys in Europe and I’m up there with them. I’m so happy to be there and I know I can definitely improve so I’m looking forward to that.
"This whole season has just been such a blessing. I’m so grateful to be here.
'It's amazing to be here in a European final... I'm just so grateful to be here' - European finalist and new Irish record holder Israel Olatunde speaks to @DavidGillick after his stunning performance in Munich #rtesport #Munich2022 pic.twitter.com/6PxzriAKCE — RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 16, 2022
'It's amazing to be here in a European final... I'm just so grateful to be here' - European finalist and new Irish record holder Israel Olatunde speaks to @DavidGillick after his stunning performance in Munich #rtesport #Munich2022 pic.twitter.com/6PxzriAKCE
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 16, 2022
"Thank you to my coach [Daniel Kilgallon], my training partners, my family, my community, everybody that has been supporting me and showing me so much love. It has pushed me on to get to this point."
Adding on what comes next, the Dundalk native added: "I think just believing in myself and my faith. Believing in those people around me that have been supporting.
"It has been a long journey to get here. I know I’m still young and I have a long way to go but I’m grateful for the journey I have been on to get to this point.
"I know this isn’t going to be the end. I’ll look back on the season with my coach and see what we can improve on.
"I think next year is going to be another big season: European Indoor Championships, World Indoor Championships, European Under-23 Championships. I’m looking forward to all of them and I’m hoping to put in better performances."
Olatunde will now compete in Irish men's 4x100m relay team on Friday morning