ATHLETICS: Ciara Mageean qualifies for final of 1500m at European Championships

Ciara Mageean has qualified for the 1500m final
Ciara Mageean has qualified for the 1500m final

Ciara Mageean secured a place in Sunday’s 1500m final at the European Championships after finishing third in her heat.

The 24-year-old held her composure in the closing stages, Mageean’s time of 4:13.61 leaving her only 0.16 seconds behind Dutch gold medal favourite Sifan Hassan.

The Portaferry woman looked comfortable down the closing straight as she finished just behind Hassan and Poland’s Angelika Cichocka.

“I’m delighted,” Mageean said.

“The aim was to be in the top four to have the automatic qualification. I’ve faith in the speed I have in my legs.”

Elsewhere, Kerry O’Flaherty ran a season’s best to book a 3,000m steeplechase final spot.

O’Flaherty’s time of 9:45.53 earned her the quickest fastest loser berth.

Meanwhile, Christine McMahon progressed to the 400m hurdles semi-finals but Ben Reynolds bowed out of the men’s 110m hurdles.

Ballymena & Antrim athlete McMahon claimed the fifth of the six fastest losers spots.

Reynolds’ time of 13.87 was 0.02 faster than his previous 2016 best but the 25-year-old’s hopes of qualification were dashed when he hit the second hurdle.

The Holywood man finished seventh and last in the heat won in a national record by Cypriot Milan Trajkovic (13.39) despite the wet track.

O’Flaherty will be joined in Sunday’s steeplechase final by her team-mates and fellow Olympic qualifiers Sara Treacy and Michelle Finn.

Treacy achieved automatic qualification by finishing fifth in a new personal best of 9:42.16.

Finn secured her place in Sunday’s final by finishing fourth in the opening heat in a season’s best of 9:45.93.

Meanwhile, Amy Foster failed to reach the final of the 100m after finishing seventh in her semi-final in a time of 11.62 seconds.

She had recorded 11.57 in finishing third in her heat on Friday but both performances were well short of her own Irish record of 11.40 and the Olympic qualifying mark of 11.32.