Belfast Telegraph

Mageean given the nod for Doha championships

 

Qualified: Ciara Mageean
Qualified: Ciara Mageean

By Brian Hill

Ireland's top middle distance athlete Ciara Mageean has been included by Athletics Ireland in a trio of athletes who will be competing in the World Athletics Championships, starting in Qatar later this month.

Lisburn AC's Mageean is named for the 1,500 metres along with Thomas Barr of Ferrybank in the 400 metres hurdles plus Alex Wright of Leevale in the 20k walk.

Ciara, from Portafery, is currently the only qualified Irish woman who will be competing in Doha.

It was previously announced in May that South Belfast marathon star Stephen Scullion and Finn Valley's Brendan Boyce (50k walk) will also be competing in Doha. Scullion's performance of two hours 14 minutes 34 seconds in Houston in January is the fastest Irish time in seven years.

Mageean is this year's European indoors bronze medallist. Her selection is further confirmation that the 27-year-old is currently in the form of her life following her 1,500 metres time of 4.01.21 in Monaco in July which was also an Irish mile record. This time also qualifies for next year's Olympics in Tokyo.

Athletics Ireland has also indicated it is confident that several other Irish athletes will be invited to compete in Doha as part of the IAAF policy of accepting competitors under its quota system who marginally fail to make the qualification standard.

Rio Olympian steeplechaser Kerry O'Flaherty's quest to qualify for Doha ended in dramatic fashion at the weekend when she sustained a broken foot in a race in Spain.

The Newcastle woman landed awkwardly after being barged. Her coach Richard Rodgers said that while this was a terrible blow, Kerry would bounce back.

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