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Women in Sport

03rd Sep 2022

“Ciara was not afraid to lose tonight” – Sonia pays classy tribute to Mageean after record-breaking run

Niall McIntyre

Roll on the World Championships in 2023 and the Olympics in 2024.

It feels strange to say it but in this kind of form, and with a bit of luck on her side, Ciara Mageean will be right up there. She’ll be right up there with as good a chance as anybody.

We always have those kind of hopes and, in recent times, we’ve been living by those sort of targets but that was at European level and now, when it comes to Ciara Mageean, this is the global stage. And there’s a big difference between them.

Sonia O’Sullivan was the last Irish person to win a distance running medal on the global stage, way back in 2000 when she took the 5000m silver at the Sydney Olympics. A quarter of a century later and Ciara Mageean will be looking ahead with similar aims.

For now though, we must live in the present. Mageean has just had her best season ever, winning silver medals at the commonwealth games and the European championships but last night in Brussels – that was her best ever run.

Not only did the 30-year-old from Porrtaferry smash her own PB, with her time of 3.56.63, she also broke Sonia O’Sullivan’s 27-year-old national record. Even more importantly, she did it by beating Laura Muir, the world bronze medallist from 2022, the Olympic silver medallist in 2020 – and the athlete who had pipped her in both of those championships this year.

That monkey is off her back now.

Mageean wasn’t to be denied in this paced Diamond League event, and when she kicked down the home straight, none of her competitors could live with her.

It will have been all the more special for Ciara too that her Sonia O’Sullivan was there to witness it, and that she was there to congratulate her at the finish.

“Congratultions Ciara,” tweeted Sonia with a picture of the pair.

“Winning Brussels Diamond league 1500m and new Irish record old record nearly as old as Ciara is young  Great to be in the stand to witness such a great race by Ciara who has had a great season and was not afraid to lose tonight,” she added.

This was some night for Ciara Mageean, where she picked up the guts of 10,000 euro in prize money, but here’s to hoping the best is yet to come.