Mageean And English Light Up A-I-T International

Ciara Mageean and Mark English stole the show at the AIT International grand-prix in Athlone tonight.

Mageean set a new National record and stadium record, when winning the women’s 1500 metres in AIT in what was a very commanding performance.

Hanging on the coat tails of Claudia Bobocea, before easing past the Romanian as they came onto the back straight and powerfully coming home in 4:06.76.

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The performance will no doubt build confidence that Mageean can compete for a medal at next month’s European indoor championship in Glasgow.

Interestingly Mark English returned to winning ways in Athlone with a controlled victory in the 800 metres in 1:46.92, just point 10 seconds outside his personal best.

The return to form of English is a total bonus, having last medalled at the international level in 2015 taking silver at the European indoor championships.

This follow’s English’s impressive victory in Ghent last weekend and builds hope that something might be stirring in Glasgow next month.

While Thomas Barr was pipped to victory, the Waterford man showed his usual competitive edge with a battling 47.05 second place finish.

Tony Van Diepen of the Netherlands and Ricardo Dos Santos of Portugal both set a fast opening which saw Barr trail in third place at the bell.

However the Waterford man, out of his comfort zone in the indoor 400, showed his usual kick to close the gap in the home straight.

Van Diepen winning out in 47.01 seconds with Barr second in 47.05 seconds.

Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski won the men’s mile under the magical four minute barrier in three minutes 56.41 seconds.

John Travers was first Irish man home in the mile, breaking the magic four minute barrier for the second year in the row. The AIT graduate posting three minutes 58.48 seconds.