This is another one of Stuart Weir’s fine stories on the Memorial Van Damme!
Another epic 1500m race
I love a good 1500m race! It is superior to an 800 as there is more time for strategy and tactics. For me, it beats a 5k, which sometimes struggles to sustain the interest all the way through. It helps if Laura Muir, one of my favorite athletes, wins. I have to confess that this was the 14th time I have watched Laura run this year.
The field in Brussels included such experienced middle-distance runners as Nelly Chepchirchir (Kenya), Hirut Meshesha (Ethiopia), and Jess Hull (Australia), but when Laura Muir went to the front, only Ciara Mageean seemed able to go with her.
Muir and Mageean have previous, as the cops like to put it, with Mageean beating Muir in Monaco and Stockholm Diamond Leagues. In the World Championship 1500 in Budapest, Mageean was fourth and Muir sixth.
The Brussels race was fast; Sinclaire Johnson, USA, ran 3:59.19 and was ninth! The result was
1 Laura Muir 3:55.34
2 Ciara Mageean 3:55.87
3 Nelly Chepchirchir 3:56.93
4 Jessica Hull 3:57.75
5 Katie Snowden 3:38.03
6 Hirut Meshesha 3:58.06
7 Melissa Courtney-Bryant 3:58.09
On her rivalry with Mageean, Muir said: “I know Ciara very well, and she always gets me in the last 100m. Today I kept an eye on her and found that extra gear in the final part of the race. I felt a little disappointed after the world championships. I was in great shape, but unfortunately, I did not have my best day in the year’s most important race. That´s sport, and those things happen. I´m really happy that today I was able to show the form that I´m really in”. She added: “I am in as good a shape now as I was at the world championships. I am just running fast and free, not under any pressure, and able to enjoy it”.
Ciara Mageean admitted that it was “hard to stay on a high after Budapest but to continue to run and achieve a national record and PB was very satisfying. I went out very hard and dug deep today, and obviously, I´m very happy with that”.
She added: “It’s always an honor to be in a battle with Laura, who is a fierce competitor. She got the better of me today, but I’ll be getting ready for Eugene. She finished very strong, but I ran a very good race. Now it’s back to Manchester do some training for the season’s final race in Eugene”.
Next weekend’s Diamond League final is well set up.