Mageean throws down challenge with Irish record
Irish middle distance star Ciara Mageean sounded a warning to her opposition in next month's European Championships in Glasgow when she set yet another Irish 1,500 metres record at the AIT Games in Athlone.
Her time of 4:06.76 - rounded down slightly from the clock reading - is the seventh fastest in the world this year and nearly 2seconds quicker than her previous record set two years ago. It comes on the back of setting a new Mile record in Boston three weeks ago. In Athlone, the 26-year-old followed leader Claudia Bobocea of Romania before edging clear in the final 200m.
Portaferry's Mageean is in such top form that she could stand a real chance of medalling in Glasgow where she faces double Euro Champion Laura Muir.
An overjoyed Mageean said: "I am delighted to get the win though I was confident from the gun. I'm feeling really good and I think a lot of it is to do with going to Manchester where I am with a great training squad."
The UCD woman has entered the 3,000 metres at the Senior Champs this weekend in Dublin where she should have little difficulty securing another title.
This meeting could secure titles for several Northern athletes including Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Leon Reid, defending his 60 and 200m titles.
Leon warmed up in Athlone with a 48.44 over 400 metres and should retain both sprint titles with ease. Chief threat especially over 200m will be Ireland's Marcus Lawler, with Ballymena's Dean Adams aiming for a rostrum place over 60 metres.
In the Women's 60 metres all eyes will be on new Lisburn AC star Lauren Roy who has qualified for the Glasgow Euros with a huge PB of 7.39. She will face Carlow's Molly Scott who heads the Irish list with 7.36 plus Emerald's Ciara Neville.
Annadale's Conall Kirk seems to get better with each race. In Athlone he set another PB of 1.48.95 in fifth place behind winner Mark English (1.46.92).The two clash again this weekend with former European medallist English the hot favourite with 23-year-old Kirk also aiming for a medal.