Ciara Mageean bags bronze medal at Euro Athletics Championships
CIARA Mageean capped a memorable final day for Irish athletics at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam.
In possibly the slowest ever continental women’s championship 1500m, Mageean produced a lightning fast finish to snatch the bronze medal in the final few metres.
Poland’s Angelika Chichocka was the surprise winner of the race in 4:33.00, covering the last 300m in under 43 seconds, meaning pre-race favourite Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands had to settle for second on this occasion in 4:33.76. The Portaferry woman just another two-hundredths back in third.
"It was a really slow race today,” said Mageean.
"Actually, even if it was a fast race, I would have tried to win a medal either way. The last round there was a lot of pushing and I got hit by a spike twice in my leg. If I had a little more space in the sprint I could maybe have done even better.
"I have already won two medals in youth championships but this is my first as a senior. Because of a severe injury this is the first time in five years that I am wearing the Irish vest, so this is a big deal for me."
Watch Ciara power her way to third
There were no less than three Irish women in the 3000m Steeplechase final won by Germany’s Gesa-Felicitas Krause in 9:18.85. Michelle Finn set a personal best of 9:42.19 in seventh and Sara Treacy (9:45.10) was ninth, three places ahead of Kerry O’Flaherty (9:45.88).
Adam Kszczot (1:45.18) and Marcin Lewandowski (1:45.54) had a one-two for Poland in the 800m and there was one-two for Spain as well in the 5000m which was the closest race of the championships. The first three men all shared the same 13:40.85 timing with Ilias Fifa being given the nod over Adel Mechaal and Germany’s Richard Ringer.
Other individual titles went to Denmark’s Sara Petersen who took the women’s 400m Hurdles title in 55.12 seconds; Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi cleared 2.32m to win the men’s High Jump and Germany’s David Storl was crowned Shot Putt champion after a best throw of 21.31m.
Poland’s Pawel Fajdek reigned supreme in the men’s Hammer after throwing 80.93m and Patricia Mamona picked up Portugal’s second individual gold of day winning the Triple Jump with a national record 14.58m (+0.8).
The host nation took the women’s 4 x 100m relay in a Dutch record of 42.04 while the three Borlée brothers powered Belgium to the men’s 4 x 400m gold medals with Ireland an excellent fifth in a seasonal best of 3:04.32.
Earlier in the morning Paul Pollock had led the Irish men home in the Half Marathon. The Annadale Strider was an excellent 17th man across the finish line in 64:58, less than three minutes behind winner Tadesse Abraham of Switzerland. Mick Clohisey, 32nd in 66:00, and Kevin Seaward, 34th in 66:20, completed the Irish scoring trio that took seventh in the team competition.
Much has been said and even more written about athletes competing for countries other than that of their birth but it was Portugal’s home-grown Sara Moreira who ran away with the women’s half-marathon title in 70:19 and led the the Lusitanians to team victory. Claire McCarthy was first Irish home in 48th place with a 76:02 timing while Gladys Ganiel finished 71st in 78:06.
On Saturday evening Christine McMahon gave a gritty display to finish fifth in the 400m hurdles semi-final with her second ever time of 56.87 seconds. Drawn in lane seven, McMahon was in contention for a place in the final coming off the last bend but ran out of steam down the home straight.