Mageean's in the fast lane as she builds towards Doha showdown
European 1,500 metres indoors bronze medallist Ciara Mageean showed that her World Championship plans for Doha are on schedule when she ran her second fastest ever 800 metres time in the weekend's BMC meeting in Watford.
The Portaferry woman was in an event which included all the top British athletes. Only 1.66 seconds separated the first five finishers with a surprise victory going to Sarah McDonald of Birchfield in a personal best of 2 minutes 00.15 seconds.
World indoors bronze medallist Shelayna Oskan-Clarke could only manage third in 2.01.47 and she was followed by Ireland's Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner in a PB of 2.01.67.
Ciara was fifth in a time of 2.01.81 which is only bettered by her Northern Ireland record of 2.00.79, set three years ago in Dublin.
The Manchester-based runner will be pleased with her first outdoor race of the season, particularly as she defeated European outdoors fourth placer Adele Treacy. It shows that Ciara's speed training is going well in preparation for the 1,500m challenge in Doha.
In Watford, Queen's University student Katie Kirk ran a season's best 800 metres of 2.06.25 while Lisburn's Victoria Lightbody recorded 2.12.15. Ireland's Nadia Power followed up her recent Upper Malone success with another PB in her race of 2.03.68.
Irish Olympian Kerry O'Flaherty, from Newcastle, was third in the steeplechase in 10.04.41 behind fellow Olympian Michelle Finn (9.51.22) and Omagh's Eilish Flanagan (10.03.73).
Irish Junior star Darragh McElhinney of Bantry set yet another Irish Junior record with victory in the 3,000 metres in 8.01.48.
In the Mannheim International, Beechmount's Davicia Patterson maintained her recent superb form with a victory in the 400 metres U20 race in 53.31 seconds, which is her fourth fastest ever. GB's Natasha Richardson was a distant second in 54.13.
In the same age group, North Down's Aaron Sexton again showed his class when he won his 200 metres event in another excellent time of 20.79 seconds. This is his second fastest and only marginally short of his Irish Junior record time of 20.69.
Earlier Sexton was a key member of the Irish sprint relay team which finished second to the GB team who recorded 40.04 seconds. The Irish time of 40.40 was just short of the Irish record of 40.30.