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Page last updated at 17:40 GMT, Sunday, 3 October 2010 18:40 UK

Ones to watch in Delhi: N Ireland athlete Ciara Mageean

Ciara Mageean and Eamonn Christie
Ciara Mageean with coach Eamonn Christie after winning her World Junior Championship silver this year

Northern Ireland's Ciara Mageean heads to the Commonwealth Games after clinching a silver medal over 1500 metres at this year's World Junior Championships and regarded as the Emerald Isle's most exciting track and field talent since Sonia O'Sullivan.

Mageean's championship pedigree - European Youth Olympics Gold, World Youths Silver and World Junior Championship silver - means that it will almost register as a surprise if the 18-year-old doesn't qualify for the 1500m final in Delhi.

The Portaferry girl went into the World Juniors with a personal best outside four minutes and 15 seconds for the 1500m but she produced a remarkable run to cut almost six seconds off that time as she took silver in Moncton.

Of the 24 middle and long distance medals handed out in Canada, across both female and male events, Mageean was the only non-African to figure.


Training: Mageen is guided by Lisburn AC coach Eamonn Christie, whose tactical brain has been crucial to the athlete's success.

Past honours: Commonwealth Youth Games 1500m bronze 2008, European Youth Olympics 1500m gold 2009, World Youth Championships 800m silver 2009, World Junior Championships 1500m silver 2010


Rivals: Olympic champion Nancy Lagat leads the Kenyan challenge in the 1500m along with Irene Jelagat and Viola Kibiwot, while in the absence of Lisa Dobriskey, Steph Twell, who is representing Scotland, is the leading Home Nations hope as she attempts a 1500m-5,000m double. Twell took World Junior 1500m gold two years ago when Mageean finished 10th on her major championship debut. Mageean is also entered in the 800m later in the Games but is unlikely to compete in the shorter event.

What Mageean says: "This is my first senior competition and knowing that I'm going to be competing against some of the best middle-distance runners in the world is hugely exciting - not to mention hugely daunting."

However, her coach Christie is convinced that his athlete will progress from the opening 1500m heats and could even put in a challenge for a medal in the final.

Sporting high: Undoubtedly, this year's World Junior Championship silver in Canada. The performance again showed Mageean's ability to control her nerves and the 18-year-old's racing instincts should again come to the fore on the Commonwealth Games stage.

Sporting low: Quite simply, Mageean has not significantly under-performed at any of her major outings to date.

In action: Mageean will compete in the opening 1500m heats on Thursday 7 October with the final taking place a day later.

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see also
England's women earn bronze medal
12 Sep 10 |  Hockey
England defeat Germany for bronze
18 Jul 10 |  Hockey

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