Just a day before she won the 1500m at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels on Friday, and broke Sonia O'Sullivan's 27-year-old Irish record in the process, Ciara Mageean wasn't even on the start list for the race.
Mageean ran 3:56.63, breaking four minutes for the first time, and taking more than two seconds off O'Sullivan's record. The 30-year-old beat Great Britain's Laura Muir, who finished second, and Ethiopia's Freweyni Hailu, who finished third.
"Truth be told, it was a battle to get into that race," Mageean told RTÉ Radio One's Saturday Sport.
Mageean: 'I wasn’t making the starting panel'
"On Thursday, I wasn’t on the start list, I was called up fairly late to the race.
"I know that my agent Ricky Simms was working hard to get me on the line and was trying to convince the meet race director saying ‘you have to give her a chance, she’s in good shape’.
"He thought it would have been a definite after winning two major medals over the summer but because they were not super-fast times, I was put on the substitutes’ list, I was still on the bench, I wasn’t making the starting panel.
"So I’m super glad that I got the call up and got that opportunity, as I did a blistering session in the week leading into it and I knew that I was in good shape.
"It’s not often that I say that, and when I finished my last rep of my previous session, I said to my teammate ‘if I don’t get into a fast 1500, I’m going to cry’."
💥💥 3:56.63 💥💥
New Irish 1500m Record 🇮🇪
And a Diamond League win.
— Ciara Mageean (@ciaramageean) September 3, 2022
Next up for Mageean will be the Diamond League final in Zurich on Thursday.
"If I go into Zurich feeling the way I felt in Brussels, I’ll be up there, but it’s never easy as these girls are competing at this level week-in week-out, so hopefully I’ll be able to raise my game again and be up there and be competitive," she said.
"I feel very proud to be able to get the tricolour flying at that level again, because there were so many Irish in the crowd who I have to say a big thank you to as I could hear them whenever I walked out."
Featured image: PhotoLondonUK / Shutterstock.com and Sportsfile