Rhasidat Adeleke and Ciara Mageean gave Ireland a reason to cheer up on day two of the European Athletics Championships in Munich as they reached their respective finals in very impressive style.
After a domineering presence in the 1500m semi-final, Mageen came home second behind Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui, who took a decisive lead in the final straight.
The Portaferry athlete took control of this semi-final quite early after winning the silver medal enthusiastically behind Laura Muir at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, putting the pack on good pace with two laps in 64 seconds. led the
In contrast, Ennaoui stayed behind for much of it, but moved up from tenth to fifth at the bell and alongside Mageen with 200m to go.
The Irishwoman did not shift from the top spot until Pole took over in the final 50 metres. Showing kicks that could have been useful in the final, both finished 5 meters ahead of the chasers.
Ennaoui came home in 4:02.73, Mageaan was second in 4:03.03, and Germany’s Hanna Klein and Romania’s Claudia Bobocea also advanced.
Speaking of gold medal contender and defending champion Laura Muir, Mageen said: She showed it at Commonwealth.
Ciara Mageean finished the 1500 m heat in second place behind Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui. Photo: INPHO/Tom Maher
“But I went into that race with the goal of getting the gold medal and I fought for it. , you’ll get silver, and if you didn’t get silver, hopefully you’ll get bronze.
“But I believe I am one of the best athletes in my field and I will prove it.
Mageen’s time was far superior to Muir’s performance from the first semi-final all the way through to win in 4:06.40.
Sarah Healy, who was in the top three in the first few laps and battling for the remaining 500m, finished 11th in 4:10.75, eight seconds off her career best set of the year.
“It was a bad run from me. In the end I felt bad and I couldn’t run the way I wanted,” Healy said.
“It’s tough because I had quite a few ups and downs in the summer, as I had some of the best and worst races of my career. I’ve tried to pull it together when it counts.”
Adeleke was spectacular in her progress to the women’s 400m final on Wednesday night, finishing third in a heat that included Dutch world bronze medalist Femke Bol and defending champion Justina Sweety Ercecic of Poland. became.
Boll started the run all as expected, but Adeleke kept pace with her and held on to second place until she was overtaken by Belgian Cynthia Bolingo in the final 20 metres.
Thaler AC sprinter, who won the NCAA 4x100m relay title at the University of Texas in June, set an Irish 400m record of 50.70 on the U.S. Collegiate Circuit the previous month.
And she later admitted that after a long NCAA season that wrapped up at the World Championships in Oregon in July, she wasn’t originally scheduled to make it to the European Championships. day to day.
“Then I thought I’d try the Europeans and decided to try. We’re here now and we’re going to do our best with an open mind.”
“I’m really excited to be in the final. I see all these things as opportunities.
“I didn’t know until the last 20 years [meters] She was there and I was already on autopilot, so that’s great. She noticed her a little late, but I’m in the final, so she’s grateful for that.”
Brendan Boyce finished 10th in the men’s 35km walk in the city center early in the morning, continuing his incredible record of finishing in the top 10 every time he competed in a championship.
Boyce was a low 18th with 15km to go, but as usual, when others wilted or fouled out, he started to move up the order.
The Finn Valley AC player clocked a time of 2:38:03, seven and a half minutes away from the medal.
After fighting off a stumbling block during the week leading up to the race, Boyce is happy to finally have a date with his soul mate. You may think you have physical strength, but today I couldn’t use it as I expected.
“I had a session last Monday and it made my shin worse, so I haven’t walked since.
“When I came back to 20th, I had a lot of mental struggles because I had received a few warnings during the race. I realized that the 15km was my specialty, so I was able to turn around.
“When I started passing people, my head started to turn positive again.”
Boyce’s training partner Perseus Karlstom, a two-time bronze medalist at the World Championships in Eugene last month, is a Swede who trains alongside Rob Heffernan.
Chris O’Donnell dropped out in the men’s 400m in the semifinals to finish fifth with 45.73.