Mageean smashes Irish 800m record in season debut

Ciara Mageean set a new Irish 800m record in season’s debut in Manchester
Ciara Mageean set a new Irish 800m record in her season’s debut in Manchester [Inpho]

Ciara Mageean lowered her own Irish senior 800m record in her season’s debut in Manchester on Saturday.

The Portaferry athlete took 0.77 off her previous best, running 1:58.51 in finishing second to teenage star Phoebe Gill, who won the British Milers Meet in 1:58.08.

Mageean had run 1:59.28 at the same meeting last year which was the National record.

Gill meanwhile backed up her incredible run at the Belfast Milers Meet earlier this month when she ran 1:57.86.

Mageean had travelled to Manchester from her training base in St Moritz to open her Olympic year and although she has no plans to run the 800m in Paris this summer, her time was well under the qualification standard.

This was a superb start to her season as she prepares for the European Championships in Rome in three weeks' time.

However she couldn’t catch Gill in the closing stages as the 17 year-old continued her rich vein of form.

The St Albans athlete's time in sweltering conditions at the Mary Peters Track a fortnight ago was almost four seconds inside her previous personal best and broke the European Under-18 record of 1:59.65 set by East Germany’s Marion Geissler-Hübner 45 years ago.

Now she has successfully backed that up with another impressive win and will head to the UK Championships and Olympic Trials next month in sensational form.

Also racing in Manchester was Ireland’s Sarah Healy who finished fourth.

The 23-year-old clocked a new personal best of 2:00.86 which sees her move to eighth on the Irish All-Time List.

Healy will also have her eyes set on Paris this summer where she, like Mageean, has qualified in the 1500m.