Ciara Mageean ready to enter Olympics cauldron

Ciara Mageean
Ciara Mageean

Ciara Mageean enters the white hot arena of Olympic competition when she goes in the 1500 metre heats in Rio on Friday night at 8.30pm BST.

The 24-year-old Portaferry girl has been a tremendous talent ever since she defeated senior opposition to win the national indoor crown at the then Odyssey Arena in both 2009 and 2010.

She took silver over the distance at the World Juniors in 2010 but was then hit with a series of horrendous injuries which would have destroyed a lesser person.

This season she has been injury free setting Northern Ireland records for 800, 1500 and mile and has shown that she can cope with both fast and tactical races.

She took the Northern Ireland and Ulster crown over 800 at the Mary Peters track and then added the All Ireland 1500 title at Santry before her greatest success to date.

This came when she produced a sub sixty second last lap to take a close up bronze in a tactical European Championship 1500 in Amsterdam.

The expectation and pressure will be immense but Ciara has shown that she has the temperament and ability and will hopefully make Sunday’s semi final.

Also on Friday Fionnuala McCormack, 4th in the Europeans goes in the 10,000 final, former Euro medallists Mark English is in the 800 heats while Alex Wright competes in the 20K walk.