Ciara Mageean: County Down runner wins 1500m race in Barcelona

Ciara Mageean will be hoping for a repeat of her 2016 bronze-medal performance at this year's European Championships
Mageean will be hoping for a repeat of her 2016 bronze-medal performance at this year's European Championships

Ciara Mageean produced an encouraging return to form by winning over 1500m in Barcelona on Wednesday.

Mageean, 26, produced her third fastest run over the distance as she clocked 4:04.13 to beat Portugal's Martha Pen Freitas (4:04.53).

Australian Linden Hall took third place in 4:04.88 with American Sara Vaughn in fourth in 4:05.88.

Mageean's time is the eighth fastest by a European this season and just three seconds outside her personal best.

The Portaferry athlete will compete in the metric mile at next month's European Championships in Berlin.

Mageean clinched bronze in the event at the last European Championships in Amsterdam in 2016.

A month later, Mageean was an Olympic semi-finalist in Rio but the county Down woman has struggled to produce her best in major championships since then.

However, Wednesday's run should boost her confidence for the Berlin championships.

Portuguese athlete Pen Freitas was fifth when Mageean won the European bronze in 2016 while Australian Hall was an Olympic semi-finalist in Rio.

Vaughn represented the USA in last year's World Championships in London.