European Championships: Ciara Mageean and Kerry O'Flaherty book final spots

Kerry O'Flaherty tracks team-mate Sara Treacy in the 3,000m steeplechase heats at the European Championships
Kerry O'Flaherty secured her 3,000m steeplechase final place in Amsterdam as first fastest loser

Ciara Mageean secured a place in Sunday's 1500m final at the European Championships as she finished third in her heat following a composed run.

Mageean, 24, held her form well in the closing stages as her time of 4:13.61 left her only 0.16 seconds behind Dutch gold medal favourite Sifan Hassan.

Earlier, another Down woman Kerry O'Flaherty ran a season's best to book a 3,000m steeplechase final spot.

O'Flaherty's time of 9:45.53 earned her the quickest fastest loser berth.

The 34-year-old's time in the wet conditions was less than three seconds outside her personal best set in 2015.

After a slow opening two and three-quarter laps in her metric mile heat, Mageean couldn't afford to finish outside the automatic four qualifying positions but the Portaferry woman looked comfortable down the closing straight as she finished just behind Hassan and Poland's Angelika Cichocka.

"I'm delighted. The aim was to be in the top four to have the automatic qualification. I've faith in the speed I have in my legs," said UCD student Mageean.

Christine McMahon finished fifth in her 400m hurdles semi-final on Saturday in 56.87 seconds.

Ballymena & Antrim athlete McMahon, 24, was in contention for a final berth with 100m to go but just ran out of legs in the straight.

The men's 4x100m relay team of Jason Smyth (Derry City), Eanna Madden (Carrick on Shannon), Jonathan Browning (Ballymena & Antrim) and Marcus Lawler (SLOT) finished right in 39.52 to go number three on the Irish all-time list.

Ballymena & Antrim's Christine McMahon
Christine McMahon came in fifth in her 400m hurdles semi-final

Ben Reynolds bowed out of the men's 110m hurdles - his time of 13.87 was 0.02 faster than his previous 2016 best but the 25-year-old's hopes of qualification were ended as he lost momentum by clattering the second hurdle.

Holywood man Reynolds, whose lifetime best is 13.48 set last year, finished seventh and last in the heat won in a national record by Cypriot Milan Trajkovic (13.39) despite the wet track.

Meanwhile Amy Foster failed to reach the final of the 100m after finishing seventh in her semi-final in a time of 11.62 seconds.

She had recorded 11.57 in finishing third in her heat on Friday but both performances were well short of her own Irish record of 11.40 and the Olympic qualifying mark of 11.32.

O'Flaherty will be joined in Sunday's steeplechase final by her team-mates and fellow Olympic qualifiers Sara Treacy and Michelle Finn.

The Northern Irishwoman wisely opted not to chase Albanian Luiza Gega early on as she tracked Treacy.

Treacy achieved automatic qualification as she finished fifth, ahead of sixth-placed O'Flaherty, in a new personal best of 9:42.16.

The Meath woman's previous best time of 9:44.14 was set in the same race in Letterkenny last year when O'Flaherty and Finn also booked their Rio spots.

Finn secured her place in Sunday's final by finishing fourth in the opening heat in a season's best of 9:45.93.