European 1500m medallist becomes the first Irish woman to go sub-2 minutes for 800m

Ciara Mageean has become the first Irish woman to run under 2 minutes for 800m, clocking 1:59.69 during her season opener in Bern, Switzerland, on Friday.

The 28-year-old European indoor and outdoor 1500m medallist had a previous best of 2:00.79, which she set in 2016, with her European-leading time in Bern improving on the previous Irish record of 2:00.58 set by Rose-Anne Galligan in 2013.

“I am absolutely delighted,” Mageean wrote on Twitter. “With the disappointment of everything this year, Olympics postponed and lockdown for months, my coach, my team mates and I put our heads down and worked hard.

“Devastated I won’t run for Ireland this year but I’ll continue to work and build on this for 2021 and beyond.”

She also thanked her coach, Steve Vernon, who she works with as part of Team New Balance Manchester.

Behind Mageean, Norway’s Hedda Hynne was second in 2:00.72, with France’s Renelle Lamote third in 2:01.50 and Switzerland’s Selina Buchel fourth in 2:01.79.

Also competing in Bern was 20-year-old Femke Bol, who continued to impress after breaking the Dutch 400m hurdles record with 53.79 in Papendal earlier in the month.

This time she was racing over the 400m flat and improved her PB to 51.13.

Jason Joseph broke his Swiss 110m hurdles record with 13.34.

Results can be found at

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