Ciara Mageean opened up her Olympic year in emphatic style, as she broke her own Irish National Indoor 1500m record at the New Balance Grand Prix in Boston.
The Portaferry middle-distance runner finished third in 4:06.42, improving on the 4:06.76 indoor record which she set in a Grand Prix win at Athlone last February.
Mageean, who is a New Balance-sponsored athlete, recently returned from a block of altitude training in New Mexico. The 27-year old ran the early laps tactically, while staying in contention before putting in a blistering last 100m to close from fifth to third.
The race was won by Australian Jessica Hull in 4:04.38 ahead of Germany's Konstanze Klosterhalfen in 4:04.38.
In the same race, Siofra Cléirigh-Buttner also clocked an indoor best of 4:16.70, finishing ninth. The former US collegiate star is returning back from an injury set-back and has began the new year in encouraging fashion.
Speaking after the race, Mageean was happy with her season opener.
"I would be delighted to run 4:06 as a season-opener outdoors so I'm very happy with that," said Mageean.
"I let the three girls get away a bit but I'm delighted to have come back so strongly."
Great wee night tonight. Nice opener to 2020 and there was a poster of me the size of my house! Do you think they'd let me have it!?!?! https://t.co/RY0a09RXft
— Ciara Mageean (@ciaramageean) January 26, 2020
Mageean also confirmed won’t be attending the World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China in March. Instead the Co. Down runner has three more races planned Athlone (February 12th), Madrid (February 21st), and the Irish Indoors (March 1st).
“Yep, a short and sweet indoor season for me. I’m still getting used to the altitude camp training as well, and everything this year is about working towards Tokyo.”
Meanwhile back at home, Phil Healy looks to have put her injury nightmare of 2019 behind her as she launched her indoor season off in sparking style. Healy ran a stunning 23.28 seconds in the 200m at the AAI National Indoor League in Athlone. Her time was the third fastest by an Irish woman and just .11 off her own Irish record. A fabulous way to begin the season.
Next up for Healy is the Vienna International next week before returning back to the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown for the National Indoors.
— Jeremy Lyons (@Jeremy_P_Lyons) January 26, 2020
Also in Athlone, Ciara Neville from Emerald AC was the star of the Irish Life Health U-20 and U-23 Indoor Championships. Neville won the U23 60m with a championship best performance of 7.33. Molly Scott was second in 7.44 with Lauren Roy third in 7.48.
Neville also bagged gold in the 200m with a time of 24.40. Earlier in the heats, the Limerick flyer ran a championship best performance with 24.02 in the heats.
In the U20 60m, Longford’s Adeyemi Talabi edged Patience Jumbo-Gula of St. Gerard’s Dundalk n the U20 60m in 7.57 to 7.58.
Superstar Rhasidat Adeleke also continued her brilliant indoor season start with winning the U20 women's 200m in 23.99. Adeleke carded first and third place finishes in two 60m races she contested in the National Indoor League last weekend. The 2019 double European Youth Olympic gold medallist registered a new PB of 7.40.