Stuart Weir wrote this piece on the exciting win, PB, and NR, by Ireland’s Ciara Mageean at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme on 2 September 2022.
Ciara Mageean has been competing on the European and world stage for some time now. Sponsored by New Balance, Ciara had an exciting year in 2022, taking silver at 1,500 meters in both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.
The Allianz Memorial Van Damme 1,500m was masterful, In a fast, tight race that the Irish miler kept her cool, and proceeded to dominate the competition, even holding off Laura Muir, who had taken gold twice this past summer to Ciara’s silver, was astounding!
In this article, our friend, senior writer Stuart Weir gives us his experienced eye to see the race through his binoculars: the amazing shape and fitness of Ciara Mageean make her now the Irish National record holder in the 1,500 meters, now ahead of one Sonia O’Sullivan, the gold standard in Irish athletics.
Now, Ciara Mageean has joined the gold standard!
The women’s 1500 was a truly international field with four Ethiopians, two Australians, three Americans, a Ugandan, and several Europeans. It was a fast race with seven women under 4 minutes
The final result was
1 Ciara Mageean 3.56.63
2 Laura Muir 3:56.86
3 Freweyni Hailu 3:56.94
4 Diribe Welteji 3:57.82
With 200 meters to go, either of the two Ethiopians or one of the two British Isles athletes could have won it, and in the end, Ciara Mageean, just held of Laura Muir by 0.23 of a second. This summer, Laura Muir had won the Commonwealth Games and European Championship gold at 1500m, with Mageen taking silver in both. As a Northern Irish Athlete, she had run for Northern Ireland in the Commonwealths and Ireland in the Europeans.
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) September 2, 2022
Mageean was delighted with the win and with her time, an Irish record, and her first sub-4minute 1500. Mageean said afterward: “I expected to run fast, and I actually had the national record of Sonia O´Sullivan, which is 3.58.85, on my mind. I thought that I had it in me to beat that record and maybe run 3.57. However, before this race, I had never run under 4 minutes, so to run a time of 3.56.63 is something that blows my mind. People say that in athletics and in life, every so often, you have a day where you are completely in the zone. It doesn´t happen when you want to, and you never know when it will happen. I can only say that this is how I felt today: I was in the zone, and it felt like I was running on clouds.
“For me winning a medal at a major championship is still the most important thing, but breaking a record is also something you want as an athlete. I can´t wait to celebrate this with my team and my family”.
Despite her successes, 2022 has been a challenging year for Ciara with a calf injury in January, an unexpected change of coach in April, and then covid, just before the Commonwealth Games.
She summed up her year: “I worked so hard to become a steady competitor at the world level, and once you get consistent every now and then, you get a glistening day like today.”
Laura Muir said: “I am disappointed not to get the win but to run 3:56 and come second is hard but a great win for Ciara and a massive chunk off her PR. Most days, I would be delighted to run 3:56, but it shows where I am at that I am disappointed. I am delighted with the time, and I can’t be too disappointed with the result”.
Next week should see a re-run in the Zurich Diamond League final.