Ciara Mageean credits GAA background after breaking through for historic European gold

Ciara Mageean celebrates winning the Womens 1500m Final at 2024 European Athletics Championships, Stadio Olympico, Rome
-Credit: (Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy)

Ciara Mageean has set her sights on further glory at the Olympics after racing to European 1500m gold in Rome last night. Co Down woman Mageean came home in 4.04.66 to make it a career full house of bronze, silver and gold medals for her at the championships.

"I'm excited about what's to come. I said to my boyfriend earlier today that I'm looking forward to going training. This is just a start to the year,'' said the Portaferry athlete. "Words can't even come close to describing how I feel. Everyone back home knows how long I've been doing this and how hard I've been trying.

"I was super nervous but I had a plan and a mission - to hear Amhran na bhFiann on top of the podium. I wanted to do this for Ireland. I love everyone at home to bits. We did it!''

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Mageean looked to be boxed in for most of the race but found a gap ahead of the final straight and went for it.

"I knew I had it in my legs. I was feeling good, it often opens up and I was telling myself not to panic,'' she said. "I was boxing in and had nowhere to go but I didn't grow up playing camogie to get boxed in.

"A gap had to come and I saw a little bit of light and took it. I grew up being strong and showing my presence and I did it out there on the track."

It's a third European outdoor medal for Mageean after her bronze in Amsterdam eight years ago and the silver won in Munich in 2022.

She managed to find a gap between the British pair of Jemma Reekie and Georgia Bell and then kicked for home, showing much grit and determination, brilliantly in the straight.

The other Irish competitor in the field, Sarah Healy, finished seventh in a time of 4:06.77.

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