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Ciara produces battling display to book place in European final

Ciara Mageean had to dig deep to reach today's European Indoors 1,500m final in Belgrade.

It was always going to be a struggle for the 24-year-old European outdoors bronze medalist at the end of a low key indoors season.

Mageean was always to the fore and in fact vyed for the lead at the start of the last lap.

The Portaferry ace held her own for much of that lap but was overhauled on the line and had to settle for fourth in four minutes 12.81. A mere half a second covered the first four with victory going to Sweden's Meraf Mahta in 4.12.39.

Mageean said: "I don't like leaving things to chance. The race was not as smooth as I wanted it to be. I will be battling from the gun in the final".

In a seperate 1,500 metres heat, Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty had to settle for sixth in 4.23.82.

In the men's 60m hurdles, North Down's Ben Reynolds was sixth in his heat in 7.81 seconds behind gold medal favourite Andy Pozzi of Great Britain (7.52).

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