Athletics

Ciara Mageean gets quick chance to bounce back from Athlone defeat

Ciara Mageean is keen to put her recent defeat in Athlone behind her when she runs in the Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships
Malcolm McCausland

BEATEN but unbowed could best describe Ciara Mageean after an unexpected defeat in the 1500m at the Athlone International Grand Prix.

Mageean (right) allowed Claudia Bobocea to escape from the pack early on before the Romanian went on to win in a new personal best and meet record of 4:08.19s. Australia's Zoe Buckman finished second in 4:11.18s, with Great Britain's Sarah McDonald third in 4:11.62s.

“That's not where I know I am right now and where I can be and where I want to be,” said Mageean.

“That's sport. I'm disappointed with today. I have to evaluate. My big aim is the European Indoors and I want to have a good position up there and walk away with a good name for myself.”

There were mixed emotions for two other Down women. There was joy for Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty, who slipped inside the European Indoor standard with a 4:14.63s timing. Not so fortunate was Banbridge's Emma Mitchell, who missed out by just a third of a second.

Australia's Olympic finalist Ryan Gregson won the feature men's mile in 3:56.49s, with John Travers the best of the Irish in fifth with a 4:02.54s clocking.

Kildare man Paul Robinson continued on his long road back to full fitness, finishing a place behind in 4:02.77s. Kyle Langford set a new British 600m record of 1:16.10s, erasing Welshman Dai Greene's previous mark of 1:16.22s from the books.

Mageean will return to action this weekend when she headlines the Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships at the new Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena at Abbotstown.

The meeting should showcase some of Ireland's best talent, including the Portaferry woman, who won a European 1500m bronze in Amsterdam last summer.

Letterkenny's Mark English is a late withdrawal through injury but there will still be a healthy northern presence throughout all the disciplines. A 60-minute highlights show will be shown on RTE Two on Sunday at 8.30pm.

Elsewhere, Scotland's Laura Muir will tackle the world 1000m

record at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham tomorrow afternoon.

After twice improving the British 1500m record outdoors last year, Muir returned to the track in 2017 to break the British indoor 5000m record in Glasgow with 14:49.12s in January, before smashing the European indoor 3000m record with 8:26.41s in Karlsruhe earlier this month.

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