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Former UCD Ad Astra sports scholar Ciara Mageean delivers European gold

Posted 10 June, 2024

Ciara Mageean celebrating after winning gold in the 1500m at the 2024 European Athletics Championships in Rome Credit Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Former UCD Ad Astra athlete Ciara Mageean has won a gold medal in the 1500m final at the European Athletics Championships.

The historic finish from the Portaferry athlete is her first gold for the event, having previously won silver in 2022 and bronze in 2016.

"Words can't even come close" was Mageean's initial reaction (opens in a new window)when she spoke to RTÉ Sport after the race. 

“Everybody back home knows how long I have been doing this, how hard I have been trying. I've had so many times when I've come off races and not felt the way I am today. 

“I went out on that track today super nervous, but I had a plan and a mission, that was to hear Amhrán na bhFiann.”

The former UCD athlete finished ahead of Jemma Reekie and Georgia Bell, bursting through a gap between the British pair in the final 100 meters to cross the line with a winning time of 4:04.66.

"When I was getting a bit boxed in, I thought 'Oh my God'. I have all the legs left but nowhere to go,” Mageean said.

“It often opens up and I was telling myself not to panic…, The gap had to come, and it was going to come. I made sure with 100 metres to go that I saw a little bit of light and I was taking it.
"I grew up being strong and showing my presence; I did it on the track out there today, and I came home with gold.”

Looking ahead to the Paris Olympics, the 32-year-old added: "It's only the beginning of the season and everyone knows we have much bigger goals coming in August. 

“I feel I'm at the beginning of where my shape can be."

Fellow UCD Ad Astra alumnus Sarah Healy was also in the race, finishing in seventh place in her first senior European final with a time of 4:06.77.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie