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World of Sport

09th Jun 2024

Athletics round-up: Ciara Mageean wins European gold


Ciara Mageean gives powerful interview after winning European gold

Ciara Mageean won the gold medal in the 1500m at the European championships in Rome.

In what was a slow run race, the Down athlete bided her time before finding a gap on the home straight and powered home to win by almost a full second. Having won a bronze in 2016, a silver in 2022, she now has the full set.

The celebrations in the RTÉ studio were great.

As was Mageean’s post-race interview.

“I went out on that track today super nervous but with a plan, and with a mission and it was to hear Amhrán na bhFiann,” she said.

“When I was getting a bit boxed in there, I was thinking ‘oh my God, I’ve all the legs left, but nowhere to go.’ But I didn’t grow up playing camogie to get boxed in.”

Sarah Lavin was dejected after finishing seventh in the final of the women’s 100m hurdles at the European championships.

The Limerick athlete qualified for the final in stunning style, winning her semi-final against one of the pre-race favourites Ditaji Kambundji.

This performance raised her medal hopes for the final but unfortunately for Lavin it wasn’t to be, with a fault at the second hurdle stopping her cruelly in her tracks.

She recovered well to run a sub 13 sprint but it was nowhere near her best, and left her disappointed after the race.

France’s Cyrena Samba-Mayela went onto win the race in a new championship record time of 12.3, with Kambunji Pia Skrzyszowska taking the minor medals.

“I got out well to the first hurdle but then smashed the second, so the race was gone,” Lavin told RTÉ sport’s David Gillick after the race.

“Right now, it’s just very raw. I bottled it,” she said.

“It’s not the placing. I know that my performance can be much better than that.

“I’ll be grateful that the Olympics are only a few weeks away and I’ll come back but if losing didn’t hurt, winning wouldn’t matter.”

When it was put to her by Gillick that she can take positives from the championships, Lavin said that at this moment, she couldn’t see them.

“I’m sure I will, but right now…no.”

Meanwhile, former European champ Sonia O’Sullivan was scathing in her analysis of Brian Fay, who finished in 14th place in the men’s 5000m, behind Jakob Ingebrigtsen who won gold.

“He can do this. But sure, what’s the point when you’re off the back like that,” she said.

“You need to be close.

“He looks like he’s getting past a number of people, but if he’s got speed like that, then he obviously didn’t try hard enough early on to go with the pack when the break was there.

“Brian is very good in a consistent race where they’re running even laps the whole way but this was a typical championship race where it’s messy, and their pace is up and down.”