Thursday 19 September 2019

Magnificent Mageean shines like Diamond in Monaco mile

Ciara Mageean. Photo: Sportsfile
Ciara Mageean. Photo: Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Ciara Mageean turned in a stunning performance at the Monaco Diamond League last night, the 27-year-old Portaferry athlete clocking 4:19.03 to finish eighth in the women's mile. It was the second fastest performance ever by an Irishwoman behind Sonia O'Sullivan's national record of 4:17.25. The race was won by Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands in a world record of 4:12.33

"I felt really good, relaxed through 800 and obviously it started to get a little harder from there," said Mageean. "It's my second race this season and that's not a bad start to the year. I was very happy with how I felt, there's still a little more to work on but that'll come - I don't need to peak until October."

Mageean's previous best was the 4:22.40 she clocked in London in 2017, and given it was just her second race this summer, her performance bodes well for the months ahead. She will be back in action at the National Senior Championships later this month before continuing her build-up to the World Championships in Doha, which begin in late September.

At the European U-23 Championships in Gavle, Sweden, Ciara Neville was the leading Irish finisher yesterday, coming home fifth in the women's 100m final in 11.57, with Molly Scott eighth in a PB of 11.70. The race was won by Poland's Ewa Swoboda in 11.15.

"What I wanted was to make the final and I'm so happy to come so close to the medals," said Neville. "I can't complain."

Niamh Fogarty made her last throw her best one in the women's discus final, the 20-year-old throwing 51.57m to finish seventh, while Brian Fay had an impressive recovery in the 3000m steeplechase heats, bouncing back from a fall to finish sixth in 8:56.63 and advance.

Former European U-20 medallist John Fitzsimons turned in a typically tough performance to reach the men's 800m final, the Kildare athlete second in his semi-final in 1:49.64. Stephanie Cotter made the women's 1500m final after finishing eighth in her heat in 4:25.74, while in the women's 400m Sharlene Mawdsley reached the final after finishing third in her heat in 53.28.

At the World University Games in Naples, Kate Veale finished 21st in the women's 20km race walk, clocking 1:54:38. The Irish women's soccer team were beaten 4-2 on penalties in their third-place play-off against Russia, the game ending 2-2 after 90 minutes.

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