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Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 16:57 UK

Mageean wins European Youth gold

Ciara Mageean
Mageean recently won silver at the World Youth Championships

Ciara Mageean produced a magnificent run to clinch the 1500 metres gold at the European Youth Olympics in Finland.

Mageean clocked 4:15.46 to smash Gabriela Szabo's previous championship record by almost five seconds and her time was also a new Irish junior mark.

The Portaferry girl's new personal best cut 2.38 seconds off Natalie Davey's previous Irish record set in 1991.

It's the 17-year-old's second major medal in 10 days after her silver at the recent World Youth Championships.

Mageean went into the Tampere race as the strong favourite and she produced a brisk early pace before being challenged with 600m to go by the Serbian hopeful Amela Terzic.

However, the Irish team member refused to give up the lead and she pulled away during the remainder of the race to win by a large margin.

Silver medal winner Romania's Ioan Raluca Doaga (4:18.44) was almost four seconds behind Mageean while Terzic took bronze in 4:22.28.

Mageean took 800m silver at the World Youth Championships in Italy last week after winning Commonwealth Youth bronze last year.

Her build-up to the final included a light 15-minute jog in Tampere with Irish athletics legend Sonia O'Sullivan on Monday.

The Portaferry girl recently broke O'Sullivan's long-standing Irish junior 800m record and Mageean has emerged as Ireland's most talented middle-distance junior since the Cobh star.

Ballymena & Antrim athlete Christine McMahon has also qualified for the final of the 400m hurdles in Finland.

McMahon clocked a massive new personal best and Northern Ireland Junior record of 59.78 to finish second in her semi-final and she is second fastest qualifier.

Kelly McNeice
Kelly McNeice set a new NI senior 1500m record in Belgium on Tuesday

The previous Northern Ireland junior record of 60.07 was held by Vicki Jamison and McMahon's previous PB was 61.10 which she set earlier this month at Santry.

Another northerner Adam Ingram set a new personal best in Wednesday's 800m semi-finals but he narrowly missed out on a place in the final.

Ingram clocked 1:53.08 which left him outside a fastest loser's spot by .19secs.

Hammer thrower Killian Barry and 200m runner Lorcan O Cathain also came through qualifiers on Wednesday.

Barry progressed to the hammer final as his best throw of 65.27m left him ninth in qualification while O Cahain clinched a place in the 200m semi-finals with a time of 22.12.

Paul Scanlon finished seventh in the 400m final with a time of 49.70.

Shane Quinn clinched Ireland's first medal in Tampere on Tuesday when he took second in the 3,000m final.

Meanwhile, Kelly McNeice set a new Northern Ireland 1500m record in Belgium on Tuesday evening.

McNeice clocked 4:10.3 to finish fourth at the Flanders Cup meeting in Gent.

Her time was inside Amanda Crowe's previous Northern Ireland record of 4:10.68 set at the 1998 Commonwealth Games final.

McNeice is now surely guaranteed a place at next year's Commonwealths in New Delhi after achieving the Games standard twice in the past week.

She ran 4:12 in Lucerne last week and then clocked a 2:04 for 800m in Birmingham over the weekend.

see also
Mageean second in Sudtirol final
12 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Mageean sets huge PB in Germany
13 Jun 09 |  Athletics
Mageean sets Irish junior record
30 May 09 |  Athletics
Mageean in Ulster Schools double
17 May 09 |  Athletics
Mageean wins Home Countries race
28 Mar 09 |  Athletics
Mageean gears up for track season
10 Mar 09 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu beaten in Irish Indoors
08 Feb 09 |  Athletics
Mageean takes 17th in Europeans
14 Dec 08 |  Athletics
NI claim six more medals in Pune
15 Oct 08 |  Northern Ireland
Mageean is 10th in World Juniors
13 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Mageean ready for World Juniors
07 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Mageean and McIlroy claim titles
27 Jan 08 |  Athletics

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