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Rio Olympics: Ciara Mageean aiming high for medal

By Ryan Walters

Ciara Mageean made her Olympic debut on Friday night in Rio, but the 1500m runner insists she is not going to let her grand surroundings knock her off course.

Fresh from winning a bronze medal at last month’s European Championships, her first major senior medal, Mageean could tick another thing off her CV as she made her Olympic bow.

But the 24-year-old isn’t at the Games simply to make up the numbers and she proved that by coming home second in her heat in a time of 4:11.51 minutes.

That put her straight through to Sunday’s semi-finals and Mageean is simply going to put her head down and get on with the task at hand.

“I am delighted with that,” she said. “The aim was to was to come out and make it through the rounds so that is one box ticked.

“Now I have to go away, recover and get ready for the semis.

“It was fantastic but I just keep telling myself that this is what you do everyday, this is your bread and butter.

“I am just running 1500m on the track. Three-and-a-quarter laps is the same no matter where you are, whether it is Ireland, Amsterdam or Rio.”

This has been Mageean’s finest season on the track and has so far reaped the reward of a first Northern Ireland medal at a European Championships.

But the Lisburn AC star is aiming even higher in Rio.

"I am out here to try and get more than a PB,” she added. “If I was trying to get a PB I would be pace setting somewhere else.

“My goal is making that final and from there who knows.”

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