Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 18 May 2022

'It was just a disaster out there': Disappointment for Ireland's Ciara Mageean at Worlds

The 25-year-old was uncharacteristically off-form in London.

Image: Morgan Treacy; ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IRELAND’S CIARA MAGEEAN finished a distant 13th in her women’s 1500m heat at the IAAF World Championships in London.

The 25-year-old was uncharacteristically off-form and put up a time of 4.10.60. With the top-six in each heat and next six fastest all making it through, Mageean considered qualification to the semi-final a given.

But, in what proved a quick race, Mageean was way off her personal best of 4.01.46 that she recorded in Paris last August.

Three runners conjured PBs while the likes of Caster Semenya put up a season’s best time.

Genzebe Dibaba took the heat, just pipping Semenya. Great Britain’s Jessica Judd was one of those who picked up a PB and grabbed the sixth and final automatic spot as a result.

Afterwards, Mageean struggled to put her finger on what went wrong.

“It was just a disaster out there,” she said.


Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.

Become a Member

“Everyone has seen my season. It’s the best shape I’ve ever been in and I’ve been going from strength to strength. So to go out and run that race so poorly…I felt good. Early pace was fine. I was just, ‘Stay out of the bother – don’t get caught up with the early bursts’. And then I just couldn’t get my legs to switch on.

I was feeling very confident because top-six to qualify was very doable. It was a tough heat but I should’ve been in that top-six. I’m as good as all those girls. I didn’t even fathom not getting out of the rounds.

I just don’t know why. My legs just wouldn’t turn on. I was sitting there comfortably thinking, ‘Two laps to go, this is great. I’m as fast as any of these girls – if not faster.’ And nothing. Absolutely nothing. I can’t even grasp that out there today. I’m not here looking for an excuse. I knew I could make it through that round so I have no excuses for that.”

Additional reporting by Will Downing. 

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

London 2017: The start times for every Irish athlete at the World Athletics Championships

About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

Read next: