28 August 2016

NI's multi middle distance record holder Ciara Mageean sliced a massive 5 secs off her own NI 1,500 metres record in the big Diamond League meeting in Paris at the weekend. She finished 9th in a world class field in a time of 4 mins 1.46 secs.

This time easily beats her previous record of 4.06.49 set in Italy last September. It also elevates the 24 year old Portaferry woman to 2nd on the Irish All Time List behind the great Sonia O'Sullivan who ran 3.58.85 in Monaco in 1995.

The race contained many of the Rio Olympics 1,500 metres finalists including gold medal winner Faith Kipyegon of Kenya. Ciara was well to the fore in the first lap which was covered in 64 secs. She then fell back before making a sustained move in the last 400 metres.

In the meantime Scotland's Laura Muir was determined to make amends for her disappointing 7th place in Rio. She forced the pace with 2 laps left and increased her speed again with a ferocious last lap.  Muir crossed the line for her 2nd British record in a month in a time of 3 mins 55.24 secs which is the fastest in the world this year. Rio champion Kipyegon was 2nd in 3.56.72 with European silver medallist Hassan of the Netherlands 3rd in 3.57.13.

Ciara had almost beaten Hassan in the Europeans last month when she had to settle for bronze. The Lisburn AC runner was delighted with her race which helped to make up for a rather lack lustre exit in her semi-final race in Rio.

She commented that her aim was to achieve a big PB in Paris particularly as she knew the quality field would produce world class times. The first 7 finishers did indeed ran under the magical 4 mins barrier. 

Ciara's performance will ensure that she receives invitations to the remaining top class European meetings this season.