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Ciara claims Euro bronze





Ireland's Ciara Mageean has claimed a bronze medal in the final of the Women's European Championships 1500m in Amsterdam, Netherlands yesterday.

Mageean claimed her medal in a time of 4:33.78 and was agonisingly just .02 of a second behind second placed Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands with Poland's Angelika Cichocka claiming gold in a time of 4:33.00.

It was an impressive display from Mageean who stormed home to finish among the medals, having appeared to be boxed in on the inside lane in the closing stages.

In what was a physical race, the Irish women lost some valuable time as she had to move from the inside lane to the outside in the final stretch, but she still had the power to kick for home and force Norway's Ingvill Makestad Bovim into fourth place.

"It was a very slow tactical race for 1500," she said afterwards. "I made sure I had something in the tank for the last 100 because through the whole championship, that's what's winning medals, people being able to hold on and kick for that last 100.

"I know I have a kick and I can outkick any girl in the field. I wish I'd had another 10 metres on that home straight."

"I wanted to run the shortest race I could so I tried to get the inside but that meant I was in danger of getting boxed in. Down that home straight I just couldn't get past the girls. Had I a clean run at the last 100, I think I'd have a different colour medal around my neck."

Earlier in the day Michelle Finn set a new personal best as she finished a creditable seventh in the final of the 3,000m steeplechase.

The Cork athlete came home in a time of 3:43.19, knocking 15-hundredths of a second off her previous career best, as she held her own in a race won by German Gesa-Felicitas Krause in a European-leading time of 9:18.85.

The 26-year-old was the best of three Irish finalists, with Sara Treacy crossing the line in ninth in 9:45.19, just ahead of 12th-placed Kerry O'Flaherty. In the men's 5000m Ireland's Kevin Batt finished in 17th place in a time of 14:20.50, well off his season's best time of 13:42.82.

The morning's action saw a strong showing from Ireland's men's team that ensured a seventh place finish in the half marathon.

Tadesse Abraham won the race in a time of 1:02:03 in warm conditions in the Dutch capital, but the Irish team put in a highly impressive performance to claim seventh position overall.

Paul Pollock was the first across the line for the team in 17th position in a time of 1:04:28, with Mick Clohisey (32nd), Kevin Seaward (34th) and Sergiu Ciobanu (57th) finishing well in a field that saw 84 competitors complete the race.