Ciara Mageean just outside Olympic 1500m qualifying standard

Ciara Mageean
Ciara Mageean decided against competing in the World Championships in Beijing

Ciara Mageean was just outside the Olympic Games 1500m qualifying standard as she improved on her own Northern Ireland record in Italy on Tuesday night.

The Portaferry runner clocked 4:06.54 as she finished second in the metric mile at the European permit meeting.

Mageean's time in Rovereto was .54 outside the Rio Games 1500m standard.

The 23-year-old finished second in the race behind Canada's Fiona Benson, who won in 4:05.62.

Mageean set her previous personal best of 4:07.31 at a British Milers Club meeting in Solihull on 22 August.

The Portaferry woman opted not to compete at the recent World Championships as she continued her comeback to action following an injury-affected couple of years.

Mageean won a superb world junior 1500m silver medal in 2010 but her hopes of competing at the London Olympics in 2012 were ended by a foot injury which eventually led to her missing almost two years of action.

An injury in her other foot caused her to miss this year's European Indoor Championships in March and she was only able to return to major competition in the latter part of the current outdoor season.

However, her form over the last two months suggests that she is on course to qualify for the Olympics in Brazil.

Tuesday's field in the Rovereto meeting was made up mainly of European athletes although another Canadian Sheila Reid took third in 4:09.75.

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