Rio Olympics 2016: Ciara Mageean vows to return stronger after disappointment
Irish middle distance runner Ciara Mageean vowed to return stronger following a night of disappointment in the 1500m in Rio.
While the stadium rocked to the sight of Usain Bolt sprinting to his seventh Olympic gold and third consecutive 100m title on Sunday night, deep in the bowels of the stadium one runner could not escape quicker.
Before the Bolt show, Portaferry's Mageean had taken to the track in the 1500m semi-finals, looking to become the first Irishwoman to qualify for the 1500m Olympic final.
But while coming through the heats strongly, her Rio adventure would come to an end before the Games entered it’s second week after placing 11th out of 12 in a time of 4:08.07 minutes in her semi-final.
The frustrating thing for Mageean was that she was very much in the hunt with 200m to go before the world’s best demonstrated their superior kick to come through to the line.
“All I can say is I’m really disappointed,” she said.
“I’m just really sorry that I didn’t give them an Irish finalist.
“I just wanted to be up and to put myself in contention which I did, I just didn’t have it at the end.
“I just didn’t have what I needed and wanted in that last 200m but that will come in the future.
“I felt great after my heat, I’ve no excuses for that performance out there. All I can say is I’m very disappointed and very sorry for not doing what I wanted to do, what my coach wanted me to do and what everyone in Ireland wanted me to do.
This is ground zero for me and I’m just going to build from there.”
World silver medallist Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon won the race in a time of 4:03.95 with the reigning world champion and current world record holder, Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia, running the fastest time of the day in the second semi-final.
For Mageean meanwhile it is back to the drawing board, with the 24-year-old keen to learn her lessons after missing out.
“I think my prep for this summer was perfect. I suppose this is just the beginning for me,” she added.
“A lot of those girls out there have had three or four seasons of good running with very no setbacks.
“This was my first year of not getting injury and my first year of being able to train the whole way through.
“Despite walking away from this track very disappointed, I’m going to walk away from this season and learn a lot from it. I promise everyone at home I’ll be back stronger, faster and better next year.
“Diamond Leagues are very hard to get into. But hopefully after this season I can post a few faster times and I can show the world that I deserve to be in the Diamond Leagues and deserve to rub shoulders with the best in the world.”