Thursday 14 December 2017

Mageean has O'Sullivan's record in sight

Athletics

The national record still stands to Sonia O'Sullivan at 3:58.85, but Ciara Mageean (pictured) is closing in. Photo: Sportsfile
The national record still stands to Sonia O'Sullivan at 3:58.85, but Ciara Mageean (pictured) is closing in. Photo: Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Ciara Mageean smashed her personal best for 1,500m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris on Saturday night, running 4:01.46 to become the second fastest Irish woman of all time.

The national record still stands to Sonia O'Sullivan at 3:58.85, but Mageean is closing in after carving more than five seconds off her previous best of 4:06.49, which was run in Rieti, Italy last year. The run capped a season to remember for the 24-year-old from Portaferry. Mageean put her injury problems behind her to win a bronze medal at the European Championships in Amsterdam in July, before bowing out at the semi-final stage of the Olympics after finishing 11th in 4:08.07.

After that race, she apologised to her supporters and vowed to return a better athlete, which she accomplished in fine style on Saturday. The race was won by Britain's Laura Muir in 3:55.22, the fastest time in the world this year.

Elsewhere, Gary O'Hanlon was a convincing winner of the men's race at the Longford Marathon yesterday in 2:28:49, while Pauline Curley took the women's title with ease in 2:56:13. On Saturday, Curley took the women's title at the Tullamore Half Marathon in 83:58, while the men's race was won by Stephen Conroy in 72:03.

Caroline Crowley and Paddy Hamilton led the fields home at the Rockford Roof four-mile road race in Tinryland, Carlow. Crowley clocked 22:19 to win the women's race by a wide margin, while Hamilton came home in 19:56. Freddy Keron Sittuk secured the Warriors' run in Sligo in 52:07 ahead of Brian McMahon (52:16), while Orla Drumm won the women's race in 63:17.

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