Belfast Telegraph

'They have to respect me': Ciara Mageean issues World Championship battle cry ahead of historic final in Doha

Ciara Mageean has promised to put in a battling performance in Doha on Saturday evening.
Ciara Mageean has promised to put in a battling performance in Doha on Saturday evening.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Ciaran Mageean has vowed to fight tooth and nail against the globe top runners in tomorrow's World Championship 1500m final in Doha.

The Portaferry star has already matched a classy field stride for stride, coming in fifth in her semi-final to secure a spot in the 12-person final on Saturday evening (6.55pm BST).

Mageean came in behind world 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan, US record holder Shelby Houlihan, 2012 African champion Rababe Arafi and defending world champion Faith Kipyegon.

She'll meet more esteemed names on Saturday evening, including Scotland's 2018 European champion Laura Muir. Going on current personal best times, Mageean is ranked 11th out of the 12 runners, ahead of only the USA's Nikki Hiltz.

But one thing for certain is that she won't be beaten for effort and has vowed to make life as difficult as possible for her opponents.

“I’m going to battle to the line, every bloody position,” she smiled after her semi-final. “I’m going to give it everything.

"If you throw a slow pace at me; I'm ready, a fast pace at me; I'm ready. I'm going to run the race that's in front of me and I'm going to battle to the line. I'm over the moon and I'm going to give it everything."

Mageean's best results to date are bronze medals at the 2016 European Championships and, more recently, this year's European Indoors.

But landing a spot in the world final, she admits, is a huge step in the right direction with the Tokyo Olympics quickly coming over the horizon.

"I'm in a world final - top 12 in the world. Anything after this is a bonus for me. This is where I want to be," she said.

"I have an awful lot of respect for the girls toeing that line with me. The women's 1500m is red hot. Anybody who follows athletics knows that but they have to respect me too. You'll have to battle your life out to get past me."

You can watch Northern Irish sporting history unfold on BBC One as Mageean becomes the first Northern Irish women to compete in a World Championship track final.

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