UCD's Ciara Mageean has become the first Irish woman to go under the two-minute mark in the 800m after she triumphed at Friday's meeting in Bern.
Five months later, in her first competitive race since lockdown, Mageean took victory in 1:59.69.
In doing so, the Portaferry runner broke Rose-Ann Galligan’s existing record of 2:00.58 set at the London Anniversary Games in July 2013. Prior to this, Sonia O’Sullivan was the record holder since 1994, with her time of 2:00:69 set in St, Petersburg, Russia.
Had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic, Mageean would be tapering off in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Now, with the Games postponed until 2021, Mageean is making no excuses. The hard work and hard yards during lockdown continued and the fruits of her hard work are there for all to see. Mageean is looking fit, sharp and in prime condition.
Irish Record and the first Irish woman ever to go under 2 minutes in the 800m.
I am absolutely delighted. With the disappointment of everything this year, Olympics postponed and lockdown for months, my coach, my team mates and I put our heads down and worked hard.
— Ciara Mageean (@ciaramageean) July 24, 2020
This is now the third Irish record held by the City of Lisburn AC athlete, adding to her Irish indoor records over both the 1500m and the mile. The 800m is not her main distance which makes this feat more special.
Mageean has previously spoke about breaking Sonia O’Sullivan’s 1500m record of 3:58:85, set in 1995. On today’s showing don’t count against Mageean.