Ciara Mageean believes she has a real chance for a medal in the Commonwealth Games 1500m after reaching tomorrow’s final at the Alexander Stadium.
The Portaferry woman was pleased with her performance and won her semi-final in a time of 4:13:52. It was a smooth, confident run from an athlete who was feeling positive about her form when she arrived in Birmingham after 18 months of testing.
Scottish favorite Laura Muir, who won silver in the 1500m at the Tokyo Olympics and bronze at this year’s World Championships, also came through easily in the Mageean semi-finals and is saving for tonight’s 800m final as she battles a Commonwealth double fights.
Muir may be the standout name in tomorrow’s 1500m final, but one-time European medalist Mageean is also one to watch out for.
“I definitely have a chance of a medal and that gives me confidence,” said the 30-year-old, who finished 13th on the Gold Coast four years ago.
“I feel like I have work to do at the Commonwealth Games. I was disappointed that the last few Commonwealths didn’t do better so I want to get out there and be really proud of Athletics NI because they have been amazing for me and all the athletes to come.
“The goal is to be on the podium and fly our flag.
“I was happy with my run. The goal was to reach the finals, so the job was done. Now I have to come back and recover for the final on Sunday.”
Mageean has a new coach in veteran English athlete Helen Clitheroe and the relationship is working great.
“I feel in very good shape. I had some good 800s, came back from camp in St Moritz and ran 1.59 over the 800 again, so I know my speed is there,” she said.
“I also know that I’ve probably had one of my best blocks of training under my new coach, Helen, so it’s fantastic to have such an experienced athlete in my corner. Helen has been to a lot of Commonwealth games so it’s nice to have her expertise.”
As with the vast majority of events in Birmingham, the home nations competitors get fantastic support at the Athletics Stadium – and Mageean loves it.
“I have to say the crowd here in Birmingham is phenomenal, I’m blown away. I don’t know if I’ve ever run in front of such a great crowd, so I’m looking forward to the final day,” she said.
“I was a little boy at my very first Commonwealth Games (Delhi 2010) and then I had a bumpy second Commonwealth so I feel like I’m in the best place ever for this edition.”
It’s gratifying to see one of Northern Ireland’s most popular sportswomen feeling so optimistic after a difficult period in which she tore her calf a week before last year’s Olympics.
The county down runner bravely decided to compete in Japan, finishing 10th in her run and not qualifying for the semifinals, which she reached at the Rio 2016 games.
Additionally, there was a heartbreak ahead of the disappointment at the January 2021 Olympics when former coach Jerry Kiernan passed away.
Mageean is now excited and committed to delivering over the weekend.
“I got in really good shape last year, tore my calf before the Olympics, had a difficult cross-country season healing a knee injury, but it’s all behind me. I feel in great shape so I’m not going into that. I’m just concentrating on being strong and getting what I want out of the final,” she said.
Earlier this week, Kate O’Connor put on a stunning performance at Alexander Stadium to win silver in the heptathlon. That was well received at Team NI Athletics Camp and Mageean could add to the feel good factor tomorrow. It promises to be quite a race.
Meanwhile, Megan Marrs finished fourth in the women’s 100m hurdles yesterday morning with a time of 13:37. It was Marrs’ best season, but it wasn’t enough to take them to the finals.
However, the 25-year-old was happy with her fastest time in nearly two years after overcoming numerous injury woes, and the Lisburn City athlete has not hid her desire to break Mary Peters’ long-standing record of 13.29, set in 1972 seconds to break .
Marrs said: “I never thought I would ever get here in one piece because of all my physical issues. This was a once in a lifetime experience and I was unusually nervous.
“As a result, I took a few hurdles, but I expected to do well as my training has been particularly good over the past month. I’ll definitely be chasing Mary Peter’s Northern Ireland record in the future.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/ciara-mageean-fit-and-firing-to-go-for-games-podium-joy-while-megan-marrs-is-after-long-standing-mary-peters-record-41893147.html Ciara Mageean fit and firing to go for Games podium joy while Megan Marrs is after long-standing Mary Peters record