A distraught Ciara Mageean apologised to her supporters after dropping out of the women’s 1500m final at the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade last night, the 24-year-old limping off the track with a foot injury with less than 400m remaining.
The race was won by Britain’s Laura Muir in 4:02.39, with Mageean looking in considerable pain after opting out on the penultimate lap. “There’s a throbbing in my right foot, and I’m worried,” she said. “I’m usually pretty good at dealing with pain, but this is hurting. I’d been training so well, my body was holding up nicely and I felt bouncy in my warmup. I don’t have any answers and all I can say is I’m sorry for that display. That’s not me out there.”
There was also no joy for John Travers, who finished 11th in the men’s 1500m final in 3:53.11. “I wanted to be in the mix, and I was, but the legs went to jelly on the last few laps,” he said.
The sole Irish interest today is in the women’s 60m, where Ciara Neville and Phil Healy will contest the semi-finals at 3pm Irish time. The pair secured automatic qualification yesterday after finishing fourth in their respective heats.
Neville, in her senior championship debut, clocked 7.46. “I’m so happy,” said the 17-year-old. “I thought long and hard about it, but I decided to come because this opportunity might not come around again. I had to take this chance, and I think there’s more to come.”
Healy clocked 7.39 in her heat to join Neville in the semi-final. “I have to be happy with that,” said Healy, who shrugged off fatigue after competing in the 400m heats on Friday. “I had to convince myself I was fresh. You have to believe and it’ll happen.”