Ciara Mageean makes World Championship Final
04 October 2019
NI multi middle distance record holder Ciara Mageean made history in Doha last night by becoming the first NI woman to make a World Championship track final. The 27 year old fought grimly in the home straight to finish 5th in her semi final race and secure an automatic place for Saturday’s final.
The Portaferry woman was facing a World class field which included World 10,000 metres champion Sifan Hasssan, defending World champion Faith Kipyegon, US record holder Shelby Houlihan and GB champion Sarah McDonald.
However Ciara was not overawed as she and McDonald took the race out from the gun and dictated a slow pace for most of the race. They completed the first lap stride for stride in a slow 74 secs with the 800 metres mark reached in the same pace at 2 mins 28 secs. The pair were still in front coming into the straight for the final lap.
Throughout this Ciara maintained her composure as she knew the final lap would be run at breakneck pace. So it proved with most of the leading runners covering the final 400 metres in 57 secs.
Hassan led the way in the home straight to get the verdict in a slow 4 mins 14.69 secs .
This was inevitable in a slow race with the next 4 close behind. Houlihan was 2nd in 4.14.91 followed by Arafi of Morocco (4.14.94) with a fighting Mageean just behind Kipyegon in 4.15.49 secs.
Ciara said: “I am delighted with that. I didn’t come here to lead in a World Championship race but that’s the way it turned out. I decided if if they wanted past they would have to go round me. I knew the last lap was going to be tough but I was ready for it. I am really looking forward to the final.“
This race is without doubt the greatest result of Ciara’s career and proves that she can mix it with the best in the world. She will relish the challenge of Saturday’s final and will be keen to prove once again that the change in her training patterns and location have worked wonders.
Mageean moved to Manchester last year to new coach Steve Vernon where she trains with a number of other high quality athletes. Under his guidance and hard training sessions she has enjoyed a spectacular season this year with no less than 4 personal bests including an outstanding time of 4 mins 01.21 secs for 1,500 metres in July in Monaco. This is the second fastest ever time by an Irish woman after Sonia O’Sullivan and ranks her 17th in the World.
The Monaco race also produced an Irish mile record for Ciara.
The 27 year old has 11 Irish National titles and is already a two times European medallist. The former World Junior silver medallist took outdoor bronze in the Championships in Amsterdam in 2016 just behind Hassan and last March also got an Indoor bronze in Glasgow .