Spectacular start for Team Ireland as 4x400 team make World Finals, Mageean and Healy through to Semi-Final

Spectacular start for Team Ireland as 4x400 team make World Finals, Mageean and Healy through to Semi-Final
Grace Fisher
Grace Fisher

Team Ireland have had a spectacular start on the first day of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest as the mixed 4x400m team of Jack Raftery, Sophie Becker, Christopher O’Donnell, and Sharlene Mawdsley secured their place in this evening’s final with a brilliant 3:13.90 season’s best.

Raftery lead the team out on the opening leg before smooth handovers to Becker and O’Donnell placed Ireland in 7th position heading into the final leg. It was from there that Mawdsley produced the fastest last leg of the race to move Ireland from 7th to 4th which would ultimately see the team book their place in another major relay final as one of the fastest non-automatic qualifiers.


It continues a remarkable run for the mixed relay team, who competed in the final at the World Championships in Oregon last year, as well as the Olympic final in Tokyo.

Speaking after the race Sharlene Mawdsley said: “It was a bit of a waiting game to see if we made it, but we’re through and that’s the most important thing. We all ran amazing legs and I’m really proud of us all as a team. We’re going to soak up being in the final this evening and we’ll give it our all again to go run faster and hopefully get close to the national record.”

The record stands at 3:12.88, set in Tokyo.


The team will return for the final later this evening, which is set for 8.49pm Irish time.

Away from the exploits of the relay team, Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) and Sarah Healy (UCD AC) confidently progressed to the semi-final of the women’s 1500m in a field including world record holder Faith Kipyegon and 2019 champion Sifan Hassan. Healy was first to secure her qualification, crossing in 4:03.00 Q for 3rd place in the second heat, while Mageean also crossed in 3rd place in the final heat in 4:03.52 Q.

Sophie O’Sullivan (Ballymore Cobh) signed off her final international appearance of the summer with a five-second personal best of 4:02.15 pb, an Olympic-qualifying time, gaining some hugely valuable senior championship experience in the process. The European u23 gold medallist left everything out on the track to finish eight in a blisteringly fast heat, finishing just two places off qualifying for the next round at her first World Championships.

Kate O’Connor (Dundalk St Gerards AC) opened her championships in stunning fashion in the women’s heptathlon, claiming a lifetime best in of 13.37 in the 100m hurdles. O’Connor followed up with a 1.80m season’s best clearance in the high jump, which was just one centimetre off her lifetime best. The Commonwealth Games silver medallist returns to action later this evening for the shot put (6.05pm) and 200m (7.30pm).

Day 1 Morning Results Summary

  • Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon 100m Hurdles – 13.57 PB
  • Mixed 4x400m Relay – Round One – 3:13.90 SB q
  • Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon High Jump – 1.80m SB
  • Ciara Mageean – Women’s 1500m – Round One – 4:03.52 Q
  • Sarah Healy – Women’s 1500m – Round One – 4:03.00 Q
  • Sophie O’Sullivan – Women’s 1500m – Round One – 4:02.15 PB

Day 1 Evening Session – Saturday August 19th

  • Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon Shot Put – 18:05 (19:05)
  • Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon 200m – Heats – 19:30 (20:30)
  • Mixed 4x400m Relay – Final – 20:49 (21:49)

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