"I'm just really sorry that I didn't give them an Irish finalist" - Ciara Mageean reflects on 1,500m semi-final defeat

The Cork native produced a strong performance but could only manage an 11th placed finish

Ciara Mageean

Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Ciara Mageean was unable to secure a place in the final of the women's 1,500m race last night, with the Cork native securing an 11th place finish in a time of 4:08.07.

Mageean did produce a strong performance on the night, staying with the leaders for the majority of the race but couldn't hold on to ensure she would be in contention for a medal.

"All I can say is that I'm really disappointed," she told reporters after the race. "I'm so grateful for all of the help that everyone has given me to be here. To tow the line in an Olympic semi-final.

"To my coach Jerry [Kiernan] who's back in the studio, I know he's going to be really disappointed at this minute in time. All my family in Portaferry and all my friends, I'm just really sorry that I didn't give them an Irish finalist."

Asked whether or not she had purposely run strong in the opening stages of the race she replied: "You need to be top five to qualify so you need is there anything more deliberate than tying to make sure you're there for most of the race. I just tried to be up and put myself in contention, which I did but I just didn't come the end.

"I didn't have what I needed and what I wanted in the last 200m but that'll come in the future."

Ciara Mageean ran an aggressive race last night at the Olympic Stadium in Rio. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie 

The result comes at the tail end of a wonderful season for the 24-year-old, who secured a bronze medal in the 1,500 metres at the European Championships in Amsterdam last month

"I felt my preparation this summer was perfect and Jerry would give me nothing but what he thinks is perfect for me. If he wanted me to race more, he would get me to. I had good prep.

"This was the beginning for me. A lot of the girls I'm racing against out there have had three or four seasons of brilliant running and very few setbacks. This is my first year without getting injured and the first year I've been able to train the whole way through. This is ground zero for me so I'm just going to build from there. 

"It's been a while since I've been racing in top international fields and this is my first proper taste of it."

She insisted that she felt her tactics were correct and that there were no issues before the race, but that she just felt there wasn't enough over the final stretch.

"I felt great after my heat, I have no excuses for my performance out there. All I can say that I am disappointed and I all I can say is I'm very sorry for not doing what I wanted to do, my coach wanted me to do and what everyone in Ireland wanted me to do.

"I had a few slow races and I've been able to kick. I have the strength to go with the fast pace and I know my PB doesn't reflect what I'm capable of. I don't go into a race wanting anything in particular, I just go in wanting to walk off the track happy."

A first season without injury has proven fruitful for the Portaferry woman and she now has her sights set on bigger targets in the coming months. 

"That's where it's hard when you're an up and coming athlete that has come from a lot of years of injury. Diamond Leagues are very hard to get into, but hopefully after this season I can post a few more fast times and I can show the world that Ciara Mageean deserves to be in the Diamond Leagues and is able to rub shoulders with the best in the world."