Ciara Mageean smashes Irish Indoor 1500m record in impressive Athlone win

Ciara Mageean clocked a new Irish Indoor 1500m record of 4:06.76
Ciara Mageean finished 0.29 seconds ahead of Romania's Claudia Bobocea - the previous stadium record holder

Ciara Mageean took nearly two seconds off her own Irish Indoor 1500m record as she earned an impressive win in Athlone on Wednesday night.

Portaferry runner Mageean, 26, clocked four minutes and 6.76 seconds as she held off a strong challenge from Romania's Claudia Bobocea.

Mageean set her previous record of 4:08.66 in Karlsruhe in 2016.

Letterkenny man Mark English showed a return to form as he won the 800m at the Athlone IT Grand Prix meeting.

With Britain's Ellie Baker performing her pace making duties to the letter by completing the first lap in 66 seconds, previous stadium record holder Bobocea and Mageean quickly broke away from a field which included former world championship medallist Hannah England and young Irish talent Sarah Healy.

After Baker dropped out, Mageean remained on Bobocea's shoulder until the start of the final lap and while the Romanian continued to battle, the county Down woman maintained her form to win by 0.29 seconds.

"I'm absolutely delighted to come away with the win in front of an Irish crowd," said the 2016 European outdoor bronze medallist.

"The pacing was absolutely spot on and whenever she stepped off, Bobocea picked up the pace and I was happy to go with that."

Sweden's Anna Silvander was a distant third in 4:13.80 with Ireland's Claire Tarplee in fourth ahead of England as Healy [4:16.98] took sixth and Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty seventh in 4:22.44.

Mark English showed a welcome return to form in Athlone
Letterkenny man Mark English earned an impressive 800m win in Athlone

English, who won a European outdoor 800m bronze medal in 2014, clocked 1:46.92 to earn a dominant men's 800m win.

The 25-year-old's time left him 0.72 seconds ahead of US athlete Erik Sowinski with another Irishman Zak Curran third in 1:47.73.

Like English, Curran's time was inside the European Indoor Championship standard of 1:49.20 while fifth-placed Annadale Strider Conall Kirk was also inside the Glasgow qualifying mark as he clocked a new personal best of 1:48.95.

Kirk's time was 0.74 quicker than his previous PB set earlier this month.

Commonwealth Games 200m bronze medallist Leon Reid moved up in distance as he finished fifth in a 400m won by Dutchman Tony Van Diepen, who edged out Irish hurdles star Thomas Barr.

Van Diepen produced a strong finish to clocked 47.10 seconds - 0.04 ahead of Barr as Brazil's Ricardo Dos Santos took third in 47.44.

Reid was third Irishman over the line as his time of 48.44 seconds left him 0.11 behind fourth-placed Luke Lennon-Ford.

Leon Reid was in action in Athlone
Ireland's 200m star Leon Reid moved up in distance to the 400m where he finished fifth

Polish star Marcin Lewandowski continued his build-up towards the defence of his European Indoor 1500m title by edging victory in a men's mile where Irish fourth-placer John Travers was among five athletes to go under four minutes.

Lewandowski held off Australian's Stewart McSweyn by 0.05 to win in 3:56.41.

Another Aussie Ryan Gregson completed the podium positions in 3:56.85 with Travers fourth in 3:58.48 - 0.38 outside his personal best - and Britain's Sol Sweeney [3.59.86] also under the four-minute barrier.

Chinese sprint star Bingtian Su, who has gone under 10 seconds for 100m outdoors, won the 60m in a stadium record of 6.52 which left him 0.06 ahead of Japan's Takuya Kamakawi.

However, there was disappointment for Brazil's Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz da Silva as he no-heighted when attempting his opening mark of 5.45m.

Nobody subsequently managed to go beyond 5.45m as Finland's Tommi Holttinnen took the victory on countback from Norway's Pal Lillefosse and another Finn Urho Kujanpaa.