Ciara Mageean understandably feels that she is heading into the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Budapest in the shape of her life.
Over the course of the past year the 31-year-old has set national records over 800m, 1500m and the Mile as well as taking silver medals over 1500m at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.
Having finally broken the elusive four minute barrier for the metric mile last September rewriting Sonia O’Sullivan’s Irish record, she subsequently went onto run a 4.14.58 Mile in Monaco, once again dismantling O’Sullivan’s record, and moving fifth on the World All-Time list.
“That really shot me into a new stratosphere in 1500m running,” Mageean says of her performance just shy of twelve months ago.
“Taking a huge chunk off my PB was really nice and it was a boost for my own confidence. I always believed that I was capable of running those times and being competitive in that type of a field, but it probably just reassured me and showed the world that too.
Mageean admits that she was initially unaware of the “magnitude” of her performance in Monaco adding that it has proven to her that she is amongst the world’s elite.
“I knew as soon as the gun went, and I got off the line that it was going to be a good one.
“I think I’m in a very good place physically and mentally. I’m going into these races with the confidence that I can compete against the best in the world and put myself in the mix,” she tells Irish Runner.
“I’ve always been quite a mature athlete when it comes to racing tactics, but I feel that I’ve honed those.”
Ciara Mageean on Irish team for World Championships
Ireland will send its biggest ever team to these World Championships, with 24 athletes being selected by Athletics Ireland. The Down native is excited by this and delighted to have both Sarah Healy and Sophie O’Sullivan joining her in the Women’s 1500m when the heats get underway on Saturday August 19th.
“I’m really excited about the Women’s 1500m and where that’s going. When we see how the girls (Sophie and Sarah) did in the European U23s, it’s just fantastic.
“I’m looking at all the other women in the Irish team as well like Sarah Lavin, she’s having the season of her life, she’s very close to Derval’s Irish record, which is world class, and then you have Rhasidat (Adeleke) who has been absolutely crushing it.
“The lads are flying too. Andrew ran an Irish record, a really good record to get. It’s a really exciting time in Irish athletics.”
As of Mageean’s own aspirations for Budapest she is tight-lipped refusing to be drawn on her own personal target as she speaks from her base at altitude in Saint Moritz.
She is however relishing the opportunity of wearing the Irish vest once again.
“It is an exciting place to be. I think it’s all out there and it’s mine to try and take. I’m looking forward to toeing the line.
“It’s probably the most excited I have ever been for a championship.
“I know I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, I’ll do everything out on that track.”