Ciara Mageean has qualified for the final of the 1500 metres at the World Athletics Championships in Doha. Mageean secured automatic qualification to the final after she finished fifth in her heat. The top five athletes in both semi-finals were guaranteed a spot in Saturday’s final.
The Portaferry runner crossed the line in 4:15.49 just behind a world-class field.
10,000m champion Sifan Hassan claimed first place, with US record holder Shelby Houlihan in second. Great Britain’s champion Sarah McDonald came home in third place whilst the defending world champion, Faith Kipyegon, crossed the line just one place ahead of Mageean. Hassan won the race with a time of 4:14.49.
The 27-year old fought valiantly, showing her vast experience and tactical nous. Alongside the American McDonald, the pair took the race out from the gun and dictated a slow pace for most of the contest.
Mageean and co. had slowed the early part of the race knowing the final leg would be a different level.
That is exactly how it played out. The final lap was run at blistering pace with most of the leading runners covering the final 400m in 57 seconds.
Mageean, who is a two-time European medalist, ran the second fastest ever time by an Irish woman after Sonia O’Sullivan. Her qualification for the final also means she is the first Irish woman to qualify for the final of the event since Sonia O’Sullivan in Athens, 1997.
This is without question one of Mageean’s finest performance to date considering the quality of the field on show. Her fifth place finish is timely with the Olympics around the corner and it demonstrates her ability to mix it with the best in the world.
The 1500m final will take place on Saturday 18:55pm. There is no doubt that Mageean will leave no stone left un-turned on the track in Doha.