Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) has ran a new national 1500m record tonight in Brussels.
Mageean knocked over two seconds off Sonia O’Sullivan’s previous record set back in 1995 to take a hugely impressive win at the Diamond League meeting in the Belgian capital.
The Down woman clocked a time of 3.56.63, breaking the magical four-minute barrier for the first time in sensational style and knocking well over three seconds off her previous personal best.
Mageean moved from fourth at the bell up into real contention with 300m to go before kicking strongly and battling hard up the straight to take victory.
In doing so she saw of the challenge of great friend and rival Laura Muir from Great Britain and Ethiopian duo Freweyni Hailu and Diribe Welteji, all of whom had faster PB’s to Mageean prior to the race.
Mageean’s performance is the best by an Irish athlete in several years and continues what has been a fantastic season for her.
Last month she won Commonwealth and European silver medals in Birmingham and Munich respectively.
In both races she was defeated by Muir, but Mageean had made in no secret that she believed she would eventually get the better of the Scot.
Coach Helen Clitheroe would have been thrilled with the performance. Clitheroe, who is previously a European indoor champion, started coaching Mageean and the Team New Balance Manchester Group earlier this year.
Ciara Mageean reacts to new national 1500m record
Speaking to World Athletics, Mageean gave her reaction:
“I knew that I had it in me to go under four and I thought I could get a new Irish record, it’s never going to be easy to go low 3.58, having never been under four before but I knew it was there on my day. I didn’t really fathom a 3.56 to be perfectly honest so I’m on cloud nine.
“To be in the same realm as Sonia O’Sullivan who was not only a brilliant athlete in Ireland but globally is a name that everybody knows…to be able to put myself up there and compete with her times, and now to surpass them is something that I’ve always dreamed of,” she added.
“That Irish record has been in my sights for a long time and I’m glad to have finally been able to put my name to it.”
Mageean’s next race is likely to be the Diamond League final in Zurich next week before she concludes her season with the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile in New York on Sunday September 11th.
Also competing in Brussels tonight was Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo AC). O’Donnell finished second in the pre-programme 400m in a time of 45.78s.