Gold medal 'everything we've dreamed of' - O'Donnell

Ireland's Chris O'Donnell says winning the European 4x400m mixed relay title in Rome is "unbelievable" and "everything we've dreamed of".

O'Donnell, Rhasidat Adeleke, Thomas Barr and Sharlene Mawdsley clinched Ireland's first gold medal at the European Championships since 1998.

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

The Irish quartet also took 1.61 seconds off the national record as Mawdsley powered clear in the anchor leg to secure victory.

"Unbelievable, everything we've dreamed of," a delighted O'Donnell told RTE Sport after the race.

"When I started going into the blocks, I really felt I was doing it for the whole country.

"I wasn't nervous, I was really excited because I've seen these guys next to me and the support we have in the stadium. It's unbelievable, we just can't get over it."

Mawdsley, who clocked an impressive 49.40 for her 400m, relived her final leg as she passed an Italian athlete before storming home.

"I was getting a bit impatient, I wanted to take her on the bend but then I said 'just go for it'. I have trained my life for this," she said.

"Tom and I were saying earlier that we felt so good in the warm-up - we were wondering what was going on.

"Honestly it's everything to me, probably everything to the team. The whole stadium was just amazing and the Irish fans turn up every time and it's just super."

Adeleke highlighted the bond between the Irish team before their superb performance on Friday night.

"It means so much because we knew what we could do as a team. We were really strong and it just felt like it was our turn - to win a championship medal at senior level. We've worked so hard, we trust each other, and that showed on the track."

Barr ran a superb leg of 44.90 as he claimed a second European medal after winning bronze in the 400m hurdles in 2018.

"This is just a phenomenal performance. We knew what we could do coming into this - we knew off the back of the World Relays that we had a really good shot.

"And it wasn't just any medal but if we really got it right on the day, which we did, we ended up with a championship record, close to a world record, and a gold, not just on the line.

"We took it by storm. This won't sink in for a while but we have to enjoy it. it does not come around that often. I'm a very, very happy athlete right now."