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Mageean wins first 1500m outing of the season

Ciara Mageean was also announced in Ireland's European Championship selection on Tuesday
Ciara Mageean produced a strong finish in Ostrava to pip fellow Irishwoman Sarah Healy in the 1500m [Getty Images]

Ciara Mageean continued her fine start to the season by winning the women’s 1500m at Tuesday's Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava.

In her first competitive outing over the distance this season, the Portaferry athlete finished strongly in the home straight, coming through the field from seventh place on the bend to triumph in 4:01.98 as she finished 0.14 seconds ahead of her Ireland team-mate Sarah Healy.

Mageean had lowered her own Irish senior 800m record in her season's debut in Manchester on Saturday when she clocked 1:58.51 to finish second to British teenage sensation Phoebe Gill.

Great Britain's Revee Walcott-Nolan was third in a personal best of 4:02.42 in Tuesday's 1500m race with Spain and Poland's experienced international competitors Esther Guerrero and Sofia Ennaoui well off the pace as they finished ninth and 10th in 4:03.72 and 4:04.45.

The Irish one-two came after the duo were announced in an initial 37-strong Ireland squad for the European Championships in Rome from 7-12 June.

After finishing fourth at last year's World Championships, Mageean is targeting an Olympic medal this season and will use the European tests, where she won silver in Munich two years ago, as preparation for the Paris Games.

Griggs picked in Ireland's Rome team

Also in the Czech Republic, Ireland's Luke McCann clocked a 1500m personal best of 3:34.32 as he took third behind Italy's Federico Riva [3:33.53] and Raphael Pallitsch [3:33.59], who ran an Austrian record.

McCann's time moved him to fifth on the all-time Irish list for the 1500m and his run also came after he had been named on the Ireland team for Rome.

McCann will join national record-holder Andrew Coscoran and Tyrone talent Nick Griggs in Ireland's 1500m selection for the European Championships.

Griggs secured his Rome inclusion ahead of Cathal Doyle by improving his personal best to 3:35.90 in Poland earlier this month.

Also in Ostrava, Sophie Becker was again under 52 seconds for the 400m as she clocked 51.82 to finish seventh in a race won by Poland's Natalia Kaczmarek in 50.09.

Becker will join gold medal hope Rhasidat Adeleke and another Olympic qualifier Sharlene Mawdsley in the individual 400m at the European Championships.

The trio will also be part of women's and mixed 4x400m relay squads which will chase medals in Rome.

Ireland's Rome team will include previous European Championship medallists Thomas Barr and Mark English plus in-form 100m hurdler Sarah Lavin.

Brian Fay and Efrem Gidey, who moved to second on the Irish all-time 10,000m list when clocking 27:40.02 in London 10 days ago, will be among Ireland's distance running hopefuls in the Italian capital.

Ireland men's 4x400m squad includes Ballymena & Antrim athlete Callum Baird, who leads the Irish rankings this season with his personal best 46.19 seconds clocking in Dublin earlier this month.

Israel Olatunde, who set an Irish 100m record of 10.17 when finishing a brilliant sixth at the last European Championships two years ago, has initially only been selected in the 4x100m relay but looks likely to be among a group of athletes who will be added to individual events on world rankings despite being outside the competition A standard of 10.16 seconds.

Tyrone woman Roisin Flanagan and 800m runner Louise Shanahan are likely to be among the additional Irish athletes added to the team under the world ranking quota system.