Rio 2016: Ciara Mageean eases into 1,500m semi-finals
Ciara Mageean finished an impressive second in her 1,500m heat at the Olympic Games to comfortably qualify for Sunday's semi-finals in Rio.
The European bronze medallist from Portaferry clocked 4:11.51 to come in behind Ethiopia's world record holder Genzebe Dibaba (4:10.61).
Mageean, 24, stayed close to the lead throughout the race and moved into second place as Dibaba sprinted clear.
The Irish athlete was able to ease up close to the line in a confident run.
Those behind Mageean in the remaining four qualifying places included highly-rated America Brenda Martinez and Poland's Angelika Cichocka, who won gold at this year's European Championships when the Irishwoman took the bronze.
Non-qualifiers from the heat included Dutchwoman Maureen Koster, Morocco's Siham Hilali and Kenya's Nancy Chepkwemoi who all have faster personal bests than Mageean.
"If I didn't think I'd qualify, I wouldn't be here," said the county Down woman.
Mageean said that she had drawn inspiration from Ireland's silver medal-winning rowing brothers Paul and Gary O'Donovan.
"It was great to see them medal and gives more motivation to perform at this level. I ran my own race and I just need to stay focused for the semi-finals."
Earlier in the day Alex Wright (Leevale) battled to a 46th place finish in the 20km race walk in 1:25:25.
"I was slightly disappointed with that but my training is geared towards the 50km and there were positives," said Wright, who will also compete in the 50km event on Friday.