Tuesday 19 March 2019

Magnificent Mageean claims second medal of night for Ireland with 1500m bronze at European Indoor Championships

3 March 2019; Ciara Mageean of Ireland celebrates after winning a bronze medal in the Women's 1500m finals during day three of the European Indoor Athletics Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
3 March 2019; Ciara Mageean of Ireland celebrates after winning a bronze medal in the Women's 1500m finals during day three of the European Indoor Athletics Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Ciara Mageean has made it a magnificent night for the Irish in Glasgow by winning a brilliant 1500m bronze medal at the European Indoor Championships, the 26-year-old powering to third place in 4:09.43.

The race was won with some easy by Britain’s Laura Muir who added to her 3000m title on Friday, with Mageean involved in a last-lap duel with Poland’s Sofia Ennaaoui for silver. The Portaferry woman held the advantage heading into the final turn but was out-duelled by the Pole on the final run to the line.

However, bronze marked a brilliant return to the podium for Mageean, whose form had faltered at major championships in recent years. A change in coach to Steve Vernon in Manchester in late 2017 revived her form and Mageean has had a stellar indoor season thus far, smashing the Irish indoor mile and 1500m records.

"I came in with the aim to win a medal and a part of me is annoyed that I didn’t win a silver but if you asked me whether I would win a medal months ago I would say yeah, I’ll have that," Mageean said after the race.

"I’ve just been training well. To be able to bring that out on the track means an awful lot. I said I’m going to run my best race and walk off the track with my head held high – that’s all any athlete can do.

"I’ve had to pick myself up after too many championships but now I’m going to enjoy my athletics and walk off here a little bit disappointed, I wanted more, but it gives me great confidence.

"I’m delighted to bring this medal back to Ireland, to Portaferry. I thought, ‘fight fight fight,’ on the toes, stay tall. Steve showed me a video of the heat and I saw I pulled up a little bit too soon. I passed Ennaaoui and felt good, but you have to take your hat off – she came back at me.

"Other people can look at peaks and troughs but it’s impossible to be on a peak all the time. Life doesn’t work like that. I ran my whole underage career on an upward tangent then had an injury, and it’s hard for athletes.

"I feel I’m becoming much more consistent and my troughs won’t be so low. My athletics career will be tough and the lows will be low, but my goodness the highs are high."

It is the 20th medal won by the Irish since the championships began in 1970, Maeve Kyle and Noel Carroll also getting on the podium during its previous guise as the European Indoor Games, with Mark English winning the 19th medal earlier this evening in the men’s 800m.

It also makes Mageean an indoor and outdoor European medallist, adding to the bronze medal she won in Amsterdam at the European Championships in 2016.

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