Bronze Age back for Ireland as 'delighted' English and Mageean bask in European glory

It was a Sunday night to remember in Glasgow.

A NIGHT TO remember in Glasgow as the Bronze Age well and truly returned for Irish athletes.

Ciara Mageean and Mark English with their bronze medals 2019 European bronze medalists Ciara Mageean and Mark English. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

While two-time European medalist Ciara Mageean has returned to training in Manchester with her 1500m bronze, Mark English received a hero’s welcome at Dublin Airport earlier today.

Last night’s 800m bronze comes as a third major championship medal for the Donegal man after a silver in Prague in 2015 and bronze in Zurich in 2014. Since then, he’s had a rocky road with injury but put that all behind him with a brilliant performance and 1:47:39 time yesterday.

“It’s a big gap alright but it’s 100% worth it,” the 25-year-old told Will Downing moments after the race. “It’s worth all the training, worth all the long runs in the winter, all the strength work. It’s a big relief to come across that line and come away with a medal.

“It was tough out there. The breathing got quite difficult. I’m just delighted to come away with a medal to be honest.”

Mark English Mark English at Dublin Airport. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Mark English with Niamh Graham, Isla Graham and Briain Cullinan English meets young fans. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Georgina Drumm greets Mark English President of Athletics Ireland Georgina Drumm greets English. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

And before his return to the podium, he explained what it would be like: “The emotion will just be complete and utter joy.

“To have all my family here is an amazing experience. I met Michelle, Dad, Mum and Sharon Bradley going around the track there. It’s amazing just to see how happy it makes them.”

Down native Mageean meanwhile, produced a stunning performance to finish 3rd in the 1500m final and she was just as pleased afterwards.

“Absolutely delighted, over the moon,” she echoed English’s words. “To be able to show the form that I’ve been in and to walk away with a medal, you can’t be anymore happy than that.

“I’m disappointed that it’s not silver but I’m happy with the bronze and I’m going to walk away with my head held high and have a good celebration tonight.”

Ciara Mageean celebrates with her bronze medal Mageean with her bronze medal. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Ciara Mageean celebrates winning a bronze medal Mageean celebrates after. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Great Britain’s Laura Muir powered to gold, and Mageean accordingly paid tribute to a hugely-talented fellow athlete — and to her countryman English.

“It’s brilliant. Laura’s obviously a class act and in a field of her own right now in athletics. I have to take my hat off to her, it’s amazing to see and it gives the rest of us something to aim at.

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“Mark did absolutely brilliant. I’m delighted to see him back up racing and on the podium where he belongs.”

In a passionate interview with David Gillick for RTÉ, she added:

“I’m delighted that me and Mark showed the younger athletes that Ireland can be up there and we can be fighting. We have two medals flying home to Ireland… That sums it up: I’m lucky to be in this position and I’m so grateful to be there.”

Well, perhaps this sums it all up.

“I live to run for the green, white and gold. People talk about different things but you don’t do athletics for the money and you don’t do athletics for the amazing good times because they are very few and far between.

“I run to race in this vest and it means the world to me.”

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