Ciara Mageean lit up Sunday evening’s session of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest with a textbook semi-final display to book her place in Tuesday’s 1500m final in the most impressive of fashion.
Racing in the first of the two semi-finals, the Portaferry athlete never looked like being run out of the top six automatic qualifying places, ultimately crossing the finish in 3rd place in a comfortable 4:02.70.
22-year-old Sarah Healy went in the second of the 1500m semi-finals and signed off her second World Championships with an national U23 record of 3:59.68 NU23R to become only the third Irish women to ever break 4 minutes alongside Ciara Mageean and Sonia O’Sullivan.
The 8th place finish saw Healy miss out on the final by an agonising two places but speaking after her race the national 1500m champion spoke of her pride at being able to mix it with the best in the world.
“It’s hard not to make a final having run sub 4 minutes but it’s a big moment in my career so I’ll enjoy the sub 4. It’s great to know I can compete with so many of the athletes I would have looked up to. The times just keep coming down so you’re going to have to run under 4 minutes to make major finals so I’m really happy that I’m in that space now.”
Irish 1500m record holder Andrew Coscoran also ended his championships at the semi-final stage, clocking 3:37.39 for 14th in the first of the men’s semi-finals which was not enough to progress.
“I was looking to hold my ground from the opening lap but my legs just weren’t there today so it’s disappointing. I’ll learn from this but I’m incredibly disappointed, so I’ll just have to go back and review it.”
Kate O’Connor rounded out her busy heptathlon schedule with a 2:14.06 SB in the 800m which saw the Dundalk athlete finish in 13th place overall. O’Connor’s competition included a personal best in the 100m hurdles as well as three season’s bests in the high jump, 200m, and Sunday evening’s 800m which will give her great confidence on the road to Paris 2024.
“I’m so happy to be here,” she said. “I wanted to finish on a high and I competed really well across the competition. It’s my first senior World Championships and I did come here wanting a top 10 but I’ve shown everyone what I can do and there’s plenty to build on for the future.”
Day 2 Results Summary
Sharlene Mawdsley – Women’s 400m – Heat 1 – 51.17 PB q
Rhasidat Adeleke – Women’s 400m – Heat 5 – 50.80 Q
Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon Long Jump – 5.74m
Christopher O’Donnell – Men’s 400m – Heat 5 – 46.76 (40th)
Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon Javelin – Group B – 46.07m
Ciara Mageean Women’s 1500m – Semi-Final – 4:02.70 Q
Sarah Healy Women’s 1500m – Semi-Final – 3:59.68 NU23R (14th)
Andrew Coscoran Men’s 1500m – Semi-Final – 3:37.39 (22nd)
Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon 800m – 2:14.06 SB
Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon – 6145 SB (13th)
Day 3 – Monday August 21st
Day three’s focus from an Irish perspective will on the women’s 400m semi-finals with Rhasidat Adeleke and Sharlene Mawdsley taking to the track from 8.12pm.
Adeleke will take her place alongside top ranked Marileidy Paulino (DOM) in the first of the semi-finals from 8.12pm. Adeleke and Paulino are the only two athletes in their semi-final to have gone sub-50-seconds this season and both will be hoping to claim one of the first two automatic qualifying spots. Jamaica’s Candice Mcleod will also be targeting a place in Wednesday’s final and will ensure the race goes right to the line.
Mawdsley’s semi-final (2) contains three athletes who have gone sub-50 in their career and it will be a huge ask for the Newport AC athlete to advance given her busy start to these championships. From a difficult lane 2 draw the Tipperary athlete will be looking to challenge Sunday’s 51.17 lifetime best in what has already been an outstanding week for the 2023 national 400m champion.
Evening – Monday August 21st
Rhasidat Adeleke – Women’s 400m – Semi Final 1 – 8.12pm (Irish time)
Sharlene Mawdsley – Women’s 400m – Semi Final 2 – 8.20pm (Irish time)