Ciara Mageean battles her way to Commonwealth silver

·2-min read
Ciara Mageean battles her way to Commonwealth silver

Ciara Mageean is getting used to fighting through the crowds and she did so again to claim Commonwealth silver in Birmingham.

The middle-distance runner from Portaferry has recently started working with former GB runner Helen Clitheroe, a Commonwealth bronze medallist back in 2002 in Manchester.

That has meant being stopped constantly whenever she is with her coach, but the partnership is paying off with Mageean claiming the most prestigious medal of her career, silver over 1500m behind Scotland’s Laura Muir at Alexander Stadium.

She said: “Helen’s been my coach for a couple of months now. I feel super lucky to have such an experienced athlete in my corner. Helen has had I don’t know how many Commonwealth Games behind her, I raced her at my first Commonwealth Games, so she’s gone from competitor to coach, and I’m hugely privileged to have such a phenomenal mentor and coach looking after me.

“I’ve one-upped her there, now I just need to keep doing that! I’m 30 now and coming into these years of my career, I’m fortunate to be working with an athlete who had such a long and healthy career. She ran into her 40s. It’s always great to see her fans – I can’t go anywhere without someone stopping Helen for a chat.”

This summer, Team Northern Ireland, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will compromise of over 100 athletes, all vying for medal success.

Appearing in her third Commonwealth Games, Mageean knew that Muir was always likely to take the race on, and when the Scot made her move with about 500 metres to go, the 30-year-old went with her.

It proved the right tactic, as the pair opened up a big lead. And while she could not overhaul Muir, Mageean had the legs to hold off the chasing pack to take the silver.

She said: “It’s phenomenal. I came into this knowing I was in good shape and had the aim of winning gold. Laura is a phenomenal athlete so huge congratulations to her, especially after that effort in the 800m. But I put it out there, I tried my best, I’m delighted to come away with silver.

“I knew Laura would have to throw something out there, it’s a very fast field. I knew if somebody went, I wanted to go with them and challenge for the gold. I tried my best, Laura had the better of me, but I knew I was going to go for it, and it meant I had some clear ground. It was lovely to be there.”

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