Ciara Mageean: European medallist edged out at Morton Games despite big 800m PB

Ciara Mageean (left) was out of action for nearly two years because of a foot injury which required surgery
Mageean (left) won a 1500m bronze at the European Championships earlier this month

European medallist Ciara Mageean was left "disappointed" as she was edged out over 800m at the Morton Games despite setting a big personal best.

Mageean's time of 2:00.79 cut 2.05 seconds off her previous best but she was passed in the closing 15 metres by England's Alex Bell who won in 2:00.53.

The Portaferry woman had been tipped to challenge Rose-Anne Galligan's Irish record of 2:00.58.

Pacemaker Sinead Denny went to the bell in 59.45 with Mageean just in arrears.

When European Championship 400m semi-finalist Denny dropped out after 450 metres, it left Mageean with a two-metre lead but Bell, a quality athlete who just missed on Olympic qualification, stayed in touch before unleashing her late run to pass the Northern Irishwoman.

Yorkshire athlete Bell's winning time cut 0.76 seconds off her previous personal best.

Mageean running final race before Olympics

After her first run on home soil since winning her European bronze medal two weeks ago, Mageean made no attempt to hide her frustration after being pipped by the 23-year-old.

"I'm very disappointed. I had to do a lot of the work in that race and just got run down in the last few metres," said Mageean, who will head to the Ireland pre-Olympic training camp in Rio early next week.

"I'll be back to win the 800m and the mile at the Morton Games in the future."

There were American winners in both mile races with Katie Mackey setting a new women's meeting record of 4:25.48 and John Gregorek also improving his personal best as he pipped compatriot Kyle Merber to win the men's event in 3:55.57.

The quality of the race was such that even 11th-placed Irishman Paul Robinson, back in action after a long injury spell, broke four minutes as he clocked 3:58.75.

Mark English
Mark English clocked an encouraging 1:45.36 over 800m in London

The men's 400m produced the tightest of finishes with Sudanese athlete Sadam Koumi given the verdict as he was given the same time as Guyana's Winston George.

With Britain's Jared Dunn (46.28) in third, Brian Gregan finished fourth in 46.59 to edge out David Gillick (46.93) in the battle of the Irish athletes.

There was a predictable American one-two in the men's 100m as US Olympic trials semi-finals Joe Morris (10.27) pipped Dentarius Locke (10.27) who finished eighth in the final in Eugene.

With Amy Foster, like Jason Smyth, a late withdrawal from the meeting, Nigeria's Stephani Kalu won the women's 100m in 11.60 which left her ahead of Irish pair Niamh Whelan (11.72) and Joan Healy (11.73).

Meanwhile, Mark English showed encouraging form as he battles for form after injury as he clocked a big season's best of 1:45.36 at the Diamond League meeting at London's Olympic Stadium.

English, who only recently return to action after a stress fracture, was 1.48 seconds behind French winner Pierre-Ambroise Bosse but it was still a very encouraging run for the Donegal man ahead of the Olympics.

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