OLYMPIC ATHLETICS: Portaferry’s Ciaran Mageean into 1500m semi-finals

Women's 1500 M Heat 1
Ireland's Ciara Mageean on her way to finishing second and qualifying for a semi-final

Women's 1500 M Heat 1 Ireland's Ciara Mageean on her way to finishing second and qualifying for a semi-final

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Ciara Mageean has no time to rest on her laurels after qualifying for the semi-finals at the Olympic games.

The Northern Ireland woman took a a comfortable second place finish in the first heat of the women’s 1,500m.

Mageean, from Portaferry, said she went to Rio with the aim of running in three rounds.

Drawn in the same heat as world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia, Mageean did not let her opponent’s pedigree phase her.

Dibaba kicked for home with 300 metres remaining, pulling well clear of the field. The Co Down woman responded with a kick of her own to draw clear of the pack.

“All of the hard work is done so standing on that start line that’s all I think about,” she told RTE Sport.

She said at the time she told herself a top six finish ensures automatic qualification, meaning “I don’t need to worry about beating Dibaba - in the first round.”

With a shy smile, she added “I’ll leave that for other rounds, or at least I’m going to try.”

Mageean said she was asked about the Ethiopian superstar on her way to the mixed zone after the race, with her response indicating where her focus lies.

“I’m not here just to think about Dibaba, I’m here to think about Ciara Mageean and what she can do in this vest.”