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Ciara Mageean becomes first Irishwoman to break two-minute mark over 800m

The 28-year-old produced a blistering run in Bern.

Ciara Mageean earlier this year (file pic).
Ciara Mageean earlier this year (file pic).
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

CIARA MAGEEAN HAS become the first Irishwoman to run a sub two-minute 800m, clocking a new national record and personal best of 1:59.69 in Bern, Switzerland.

Down native Mageean opened her season with a bang this evening, producing a blistering run in her first race since February — and won a gold medal in doing so.

The 28-year-old — who also broke the Northern Irish record — finished first in a strong final field with Norway’s Hedda Hynne and Frenchwoman Renelle Lamote taking second and third respectively in 2:00.72 and 2:01.50.

The Portaferry star now takes the Irish record, which was previously held by Rose-Anne Galligan. (2:00.58) and set at the London Anniversary Games in 2013.  

While the Opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games was due to take place in Tokyo today, Mageean will celebrate elsewhere after the Covid-19 shutdown.

“Instead of competing in a packed stadium in Tokyo I’ll now be toeing the line in Bern, racing over 800m tonight,” she wrote in the Irish Times this morning. “It’s my first competition in five months and I can’t wait. I think this is the fittest I’ve ever been.”

Well wishes are now flowing in from top Irish athletes such as Sonia O’Sullivan and David Gillick after her record-breaking run.

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Emma Duffy

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