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Ciara Mageean is Beaming with Pride as She performs Amhrán na bhFiann while holding a gold medal

Ciara Mageean had long talked about and dreamed of this moment, and on Monday night in Rome, it finally came true. And with it came the tears of happiness. The 32-year-old Portaferry native stood tall with the gold medal around her neck as Amhrán na bhFiann blasted out alongside the Stadio Olimpico, marking her first-ever ascent to the top step of the medal rostrum at a major championship.

Just as they had on Saturday, a sizable Irish contingent gathered around the platform outside the enormous stadium to commemorate her accomplishment: after the Irish won the mixed relay on Friday night, she earned the country’s second gold medal of the championships.

The tricolours were flown out in full force to welcome the Down competitor as she ascended the podium to collect her prize following an elegant, self-assured, and cool performance that saw her win the European 1500m championship on Sunday night. Following the event, the departing supporters let out Olé Olé Olé shouts, much like they did during the World Cup quarterfinal 34 years prior at this identical location.

In the final, Mageean shown patience by holding off on kicking until the home straight. This allowed her to finish first in 4:04.66, with her final lap clocking in at a scorching 60.34. Georgia Bell of Britain came in second in 4:05.33, while Agathe Guillemot of France came in third in 4:05.69.

In the ninety-year history of these championships, spanning 26 editions, this was the 19th Irish medal. Mageean now stands alongside Sonia O’Sullivan as the only individual Irish gold medallists over 26 editions. The women’s 400-meter final is scheduled for this evening at 8:50 p.m. Irish time, and Rhasidat Adeleke appears to have a great chance of winning her first major championship medal as an individual and preserving the Irish team’s gold rush.

Sharlene Mawdsley, a Newport sprinter, has an outside chance of winning her first individual medal; she is drawn in lane four for the final. She will run in lane six against her main competitor, Natalia Kaczmarek of Poland, in the lane outside her.

Since Adeleke is the superior 200-meter runner, she will probably lead Kaczmarek to the finish line. However, the Pole, who won silver in the global championship last year, is a quick finisher and will catch Adeleke in the final 50 meters. When all is said and done, there probably won’t be much separating them.

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