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Sports PhysiotherapyJun 12, 2024

Ciara Mageean - a former Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists' member - bags gold medal

The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) has praised former member Ciara Mageean for her ‘incredible performance’ in winning gold in the 1,500 metres final at the European Athletics Championships in Rome last weekend (9 June). In a tweet posted on 11 June, the ISCP expressed its 'huge congratulations' to Ciara.

Ciara was brought up in Portaferry in County Down in Northern Ireland and studied physiotherapy at University College Dublin (UCD), reportedly graduating in 2016. She was one of the university's Ad Astra athletes in a scholarship scheme that 'recognises exceptional students when they join, as well as those who develop their talents while studying at UCD'.

She finished ahead of Jemma Reekie and Georgia Bell in Sunday’s final, bursting through a gap between the British pair in the final 100 metres to cross the line with a winning time of 4:04.66, the UCD website announced.

It reports that Ciara, 32, is hoping to make her mark at this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris. ‘It's only the beginning of the season and everyone knows we have much bigger goals coming in August,’ she said. ‘I feel I'm at the beginning of where my shape can be.’

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Ciara competes at the 1,500m track competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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On Sunday’s success, she added: ‘When I was getting a bit boxed in, I thought “Oh my God”. I have all the legs left but nowhere to go. It often opens up and I was telling myself not to panic … The gap had to come, and it was going to come. I made sure with 100 metres to go that I saw a little bit of light and I was taking it.

‘I grew up being strong and showing my presence; I did it on the track out there today, and I came home with gold.’

[Winning] means the absolute world and for me it’s means so much to bring that medal back home to Ireland, back home to Portaferry, to all of the people who have helped me to get where I am. It’s as much their medal as it is mine

'Full set of medals'

After winning bronze and silver medals at previous European Championships, in addition to a Commonwealth Games silver and European Indoor medals, Ciara spoke of her joy at ‘completing the set with gold’, the BBC reported.

‘It’s been a long time coming,’ she said. ‘I’ve been wanting that for a good few years,' Ciara said.

‘It means the absolute world and for me it’s means so much to bring that medal back home to Ireland, back home to Portaferry, to all of the people who have helped me to get where I am. It’s as much their medal as it is mine.’

Ciara said her late grandparents and coach Jerry Kiernan, who died suddenly in January 2021, were uppermost in her thoughts after she crossed the finishing line.

‘To my grandparents who haven’t got to see this moment and to people like Jerry who no doubt had the best seat in the house,' she added. ‘To be able to do it in his beloved Italy. He was a huge fan of Italy and travelled here all the time.’

What sports did Ciara enjoy as a child?

'I grew up playing camogie, but I also did Irish dancing, tap dancing, and played a bit of football.' Source: Federation of Irish Sport

Ciara re-located to Manchester in 2017, but retains strong ties to Portaferry and her family. To watch a 13-minute ‘Team Ireland’ video about Ciara’s background and aspirations – which includes interviews with her parents – click

To find out more about UCD’s School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, click 

Author: Ian McMillan
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