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"I Don't Think I've Ever Had Such A Smile Crossing The Line"

"I Don't Think I've Ever Had Such A Smile Crossing The Line"
Rory Cassidy
By Rory Cassidy
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Ciara Mageean has had an emotional few days.

The magnitude of what she has achieved has dawned on her, but she remains hungry for more.

Last Friday night in Munich at the European Athletics Championships, Mageean joined Sonia O'Sullivan and Derval O'Rourke in becoming the third Irish athlete ever to win multiple medals at the championships, as she took home silver in the 1500m.

Mark English would subsequently join that illustrious list on Sunday as he won bronze in the 800m.

Mageean describes the past few days as a "roller coaster" of emotion.

"I'm not going to lie this week I felt like a bit of a crash," she said.

"I'm not able to focus on anything, my poor boyfriend has been dealing with me and my mood swings.


"I've been a little bit irrational about the house and feeling a little emotional.

"You come off such a high."

Mageean's performance at the Olympiastadion was arguably the performance of her career. She made British athlete Laura Muir work incredibly hard for her gold medal and was thrilled with how she executed her race.


"I think it was clear to see when I crossed the line, how happy I was.

"I don't think I've ever had such a smile crossing the line.

"To be able to do a victory lap is fantastic because it means that you've achieved what you came there to do," she added.


Looking up and seeing so many Irish people, I'm always blown away by the support that we have and the people that travel.

I made sure that I kind of walked for a little minute, looked up and took a deep breath because those are the little moments you have to savour in life and I'm certainly going to remember this championships for as long as I have left.

Ciara Mageean thought of Jerry Kiernan after 1500m final

Ciara Mageean also revealed that her former coach Jerry Kiernan was in her thoughts after the race. Kiernan, who had coached the Down athlete to her European bronze medal in 2016, died suddenly in January 2021.


"Do you know what, whenever I'm jogging around after, and whenever you get back to that little quiet moment, quite often my mind goes to the people who are not there that I can't share it with, and Jerry Kiernan is always one of the first people that pops into my mind," she said.

"My granny Kathleen does as well, who I know would have absolutely loved to see me out there racing.

"I believe that they're watching and they're behind me every step of the way."


Mageean is now coached by Helen Clitheroe and is part of the Team New Balance Manchester group. Clitheroe took over the task of coaching the Portaferry native in April and the relationships has worked so far with the pair sharing an emotional embrace after the race.

I got to see her after I had got my stuff from the mixed zone and gave her a big hug.

To see the pride that she has in me, we've been working together for a few months now and we've created a very, very special bond.

I'm excited to see where that can take us over the next few years.

As she is in such good form Mageean hopes to race a couple of more times before ending her season. Her attention will then turn to the cross country season, European Indoors in Istanbul next year and then the World Championships in Budapest, where she will be aiming to make the 1500m final.

"I know that I'm in sub four shape," she said.

"I'm out there racing Laura and pushing her to the line.

"I would absolutely love to go under the Irish record in the 1500m, it's something that I've been setting my sights on for years now."

Mageean's ultimate aim is to produce a performance she is proud of at the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

"I believe if I can just get a few years of consistency, continuously knocking out similar races where I'm competitive on the world stage regularly, I can aim to be where I want to be at the Olympic Games.

"I was disappointed with my two previous Olympic Games, and I certainly want to come away in a happier place from Paris."

"I’ve realised my opportunities at major champs are more limited now.

"I need to take every opportunity I've got."

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