Ciara Mageean takes 1500m victory in Czech Republic

Sarah Healy made it an Irish one-two at the Golden Spike Meeting

Ciara Mageean after Irish record-breaking World Championship final run
Ciara Mageean enjoyed a 1500m win in the Czech Republic

CIARA Mageean continued her impressive start to the season with a victory over 1500m at Tuesday night’s Golden Spike Meeting in the Czech Republic.

With the European Athletics Championships in Rome less than two weeks away, the New Balance athlete was having her second race in four days after setting an Irish 800m record in Manchester at the weekend.

Mageean turned in a sensational final sprint to take the honours after languishing back in sixth place with 200m to run. Her time of 4:01.98 is seven seconds outside her Irish record for the distance but augurs well for a successful campaign in Rome’s Olympic Stadium, starting with her 1500m heat on the morning of 7 June.

Dubliner Sarah Healy, who had set an 800m personal best behind Mageean in Manchester, led the field into the homestraight only to be pipped at the post by her compatriot. Her time was 4:02.12 and gave Ireland a rare one-two at this level.

Both Irish women had stayed well off the pace in the early stages of the race with the leaders going through the opening lap in 64.44 seconds. The tempo dropped on the second lap in 66 seconds with both Healy and a strangely lethargic Mageean well off the front.

The race went through three laps in 3:15, nothing special given the quality of the field, with Healy producing an electric burst to take her into the lead entering the final bend and seemingly on course for the win. But the Portaferry woman had other ideas, suddenly energised, she produced a storming finish in the final 100 metres to grab an important victory in her preparations going into the Europeans.

Another Dubliner, Luke McCann, sealed a good night for Irish metric milers when he finished third in the men’s 1500m, recording a personal 3:34.32.

McCann had missed most of his winter’s training with a stress fracture of the sacrum and only returned to racing in the past week. He has been included in Ireland’s team for Rome.