Tag Archives: Laura Muir

Doping questions after breaking Record were ‘crushing’

Ciara Mageean has said it was “crushing” for some people to raise doping questions on social media after she smashed the Irish 1500m record.

Mageean took 2.22 seconds off the previous record, set by Sonia O’Sullivan 27 years ago, at a Diamond League meeting in Brussels in September.

“It was very tough,” Mageean told BBC Sport when asked how it felt to hear about comments that appeared on social media after she produced the record time.

Mageean’s new Irish record – 3:56.63 – was part of a remarkable summer for the Portaferry runner, who won Commonwealth and European silver before her first first sub four-minute run over the distance helped her defeat Laura Muir to win the meeting.

“I wasn’t aware of those things until the very end of my season because whenever I did find out, it was a bit crushing, it was upsetting.

“The week after, when I had finished my season, I was a bit down, because I was like ‘why are people saying this?’.”

Mageean won silver for Ireland at the European Championships in August. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

She added: “I know the athlete that I am, that I toe the line as a clean athlete. I want to hang my spikes up proud of the athlete that I am, and I will.

“I don’t think it will ever make it easier for me, for people to ask such things. They are entitled to their own opinions but I know that I am clean and that performance is all based on me.

“It is tough, but athletics is a sport in which we are very open and honest about drug cheats in our sport and we hold them to high account and we make them accountable for the mistakes and choices they have made.”

Mageean followed up her impressive win over Muir – who had beaten her to gold at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships – with another strong performance in the Diamond League 1500m final a week later, finishing second behind Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon in Zurich.

Her Irish record of 3:56.63 was considerably faster than the 30-year-old had run at that distance in races building up to that meeting, but she said anyone who had followed her season would have known she was capable of such a big performance.

And she added that a message from her coach, Helen Clitheroe, helped her deal with those posing questions about her record-breaking run.

“It [her record-breaking run] didn’t come as a surprise to me,” she continued.

“I knew I could go sub-58 and I thought I could go sub-57. I knew I was in really good shape so the .56 I was really ecstatic with.”

Olympic final target to make up for disappointments

Currently enjoying a trip home to County Down from her Manchester base, Mageean spoke of how satisfied she was with her performances this season – but has her eyes firmly fixed on her next two big goals.

Having chosen not to compete at this summer’s delayed 2021 World Championships, she is looking forward to the Worlds in Budapest next year – then, of course, there is the Paris Olympics in 2024, where she will be determined to reach a final for the first time in what would be her third attempt.

“I’ve been disappointed by the two Olympics that I have been to. I haven’t got my rings tattooed on me yet because I was always disappointed afterwards,” she explained.

“That might change as I’ve been trying to convince myself and Helen, and everyone who went, that it was an achievement being there, and hopefully we can go together and get that [the tattoo] done.

“Yes, the big focus is the World Championships next year and the Paris Olympics. How do I replicate the performances I have had now? I don’t have the answer but it is something myself and my team around me are certainly gong to try to figure out.

“Hopefully I can do it because that is the new pressure, to be able to be as good as myself again, to emulate that 3.56 and to continue to perform at this level that I know I have the potential to do.”

And, after a summer that saw her break that Irish 1500m record and win those silver medals, which did she enjoy most?

“The time is obviously fantastic and it has been a monkey on my back for some time,” she added.

“People in athletics would say that time means so much more than the medals in your hand but to be honest I always came into athletics to win medals. It is my aim to stand on the podium.

“To be able win a medal for Northern Ireland and Ireland in the same year, to represent them both is truly special. I wouldn’t trade these for any time, I definitely wouldn’t.”

Müller ends sponsorship with UK Athletics

Commercial partnership between dairy products company and UKA draws to a close after seven years

UK Athletics is looking for a new title sponsor for its major events after Müller decided not to renew its sponsorship deal with the governing body.

The company, which produces yogurts and desserts, have supported the British Athletics event series since 2016 as title sponsors to events such as Diamond League fixtures in the UK and the annual indoor grand prix in Birmingham.

In 2020 Müller extended its support through to 2022 but has decided not to renew into 2023 which means the governing body will be searching for a main sponsor, whereas the eye-catching television adverts featuring athletes like Laura Muir, Hannah Cockroft and Katarina Johnson-Thompson promoting Müller products will end.

Hannah Cockroft (Müller)

Jack Buckner, the new chief executive of UKA, said: “We’d like to thank Müller for their support of our events over the years and the commitment they showed to athletics. They have shown great enthusiasm and have creatively engaged with all parts of the sport through supporting our events and we wish them well.

“For what was originally a commitment made to last the summer of 2016, the fact that it grew to an eventual seven year collaboration shows the value the sport brings to partners.

“We will of course be seeking new partners for our events and the wider sport knowing that athletics continues to offer a strong return on investment. We are excited for our event series in 2023 with a return to the London Stadium already announced and will be announcing our other fixtures soon.”

Müller Birmingham Diamond League (Mark Shearman)

UK Athletics has a good history of securing major sponsors but they all naturally run their course and finish at some stage. In the run-up to London 2012 the sport signed insurance company Aviva (also known as Norwich Union and CGU) in what was, at the time, the biggest sponsorship deal in British sport outside football.

But along with other sponsors like McCain, Aviva ended their support after the 2012 Games. Other supporters of the sport in recent years include Sainsbury’s and, more recently, Spar.


Source: athleticsweekly.com

Women’s European Athlete of the Year nominees announced

Have your say and vote now for your women’s European Athlete of the Year across social media!

The men’s and women’s European Athletes of the Year and Rising Stars will be announced at the Golden Tracks award ceremony which takes place in Tallinn, Estonia on 22 October and will be streamed live on the European Athletics YouTube channel.

A long-list of 10 athletes has been compiled by an expert panel based largely on performances achieved at the European Athletics Championships in Munich, World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade and the Diamond League finals in Zurich.

The social media vote accounts for one-quarter of the overall vote with the Member Federations vote, media vote and expert panel vote each accounting for one-quarter of the vote. You can cast your vote by retweeting the image of the athlete you wish to vote for on Twitter, by liking the image on Instagram or by liking or sharing on Facebook.

Voting closes across all channels on Friday 30 September and a shortlist of three athletes will be announced in each category in the week starting 3 October.

In alphabetical order, the 10 nominees are:

  1. Femke Bol                   (NED)
  2. Keely Hodgkinson     (GBR)
  3. Mujinga Kambundji  (SUI)
  4. Yaroslava Mahuchikh (UKR)
  5. Malaika Mihambo       (GER)
  6. Laura Muir                    (GBR)
  7. Antigoni Ntrismpioti (GRE)
  8. Sandra Perkovic           (CRO)
  9. Nafissatou Thiam        (BEL)
  10. Ivana Vuleta                 (SRB)
Source: european-athletics.com

Laura Muir storms to 1500m gold in Munich

Olympic 1500m silver medallist, Laura Muir stormed to win the gold medal and defended her crown on day five of the European Athletics Championships, held on Friday (19) in Munich.

The 29 year-old ran a superbly judged race to retain her title and add gold to the Commonwealth version she won earlier this month and the world silver earned last month. Between them, she and her Scottish compatriot Eilish McColgan, who has earned Commonwealth gold and silver, and European silver and bronze, have had a richly rewarding five weeks.

Muir monitored proceedings from the back before moving deliberately to the front with two laps remaining, taking over the lead from Ireland’s Ciara Mageean.

Sofia Ennaoui, silver medallist behind Muir at the 2018 European Championships, had remained at the back with the defending champion but only made half a job of following her to the front, getting caught up in the pack.

As she was extricating herself approaching the bell her race was lost as Muir accelerated with sudden and brutal purpose. Mageean, a bronze medallist in Amsterdam six years ago and fourth in Berlin, was ready and gave dogged chase. Ennaoui had missed the party, but set off nevertheless in desperate pursuit.

All around the final bend the Irish runner showed the tenacity that characterised her British coach, Helen Clitheroe, the 2011 European indoor 3000m champion, but inexorably the Olympic silver medallist pulled away.

Muir crossed in 4:01.08 with a gesture that could have been one of triumph or relief with Mageean taking the silver medal in 4:02.56.

Ennaoui closed the podium three finishes and earning the bronze in 4:03.59.

Mary Moraa outclass Keely Hodgkinson as she wins her first gold medal

World bronze medallist, Mary Moraa stunned Olympic and World silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson in women 800m finals on day nine of the Commonwealth Games held at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

The 22 year-old, who is also the World Under 18 400m silver medalist, pulled a powerful kick down the home straight to outlast Hodgkinson and cross the finish line in 1:57.07 with the latter taking silver in 1:57.40.

Scotland’s Muir closed the podium three finishes ahead of Jamaica’s Natoya Goule in 1:57.87

Laura Muir sends warning to rivals as she targets World Championships medal

Laura Muir fired a warning to her rivals and insisted she is more dangerous than ever.

The 29-year-old opens her fifth World Championships campaign in the 1500m heats in Eugene on Friday.

Muir is targeting a first medal at the World Championships having finished fourth in London five years ago and fifth in Doha in 2019.

She battled foot and calf injuries in the build-up to her last two championships but, after last summer’s 1500m Olympic silver medal, feels she has established herself.

“We’ve done it now and that takes the pressure off a bit and if anything it makes me more dangerous,” said the Scot, who finished fifth in Beijing in 2015 and made the 800m semi-finals two years earlier.

“I don’t have that weight on my shoulders. I can go out there and be more relaxed. When I’m relaxed I run better.

“It’s nice to go in and not have that pressure on myself to know you have to get this medal or we’ve never won a global outdoor medal. I don’t have to prove myself.

“In Doha it was the second fastest time I had ever run, in a championship final as well. It was incredibly frustrating to run one of the fastest times ever in history and I wasn’t even fourth, I was fifth.

“That was off the back of an injury so what could I have done if I’d not had an injury? That was the most significant one I’d had in my career.

“If anything it highlighted a couple of areas I was weak in and, off the back of that, we worked really hard to make those weakness a lot stronger. I don’t know if I would have been as fast, strong and as robust for the Olympics had it not been for the injury.

“It was a bitter pill to swallow but I’m physically fitter and stronger now than I would have been.

“Hopefully this year I can add the elusive World Championships medal, fifth time lucky.”

Yet, Muir will still need to overcome Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, who beat her to Olympic gold in Japan last year and has not lost since Tokyo.

“Man or woman, she’s the best 1500m runner this world has ever seen,” said Muir. “She’s been in every single world finals since 2015, maybe 2013, and almost every time has won a medal, as well as back-to-back Olympics and having a child.

“She is an amazing, amazing athlete and it’s an honour to run alongside her even though she’s very, very fast.”

The Championships in Oregon start a frantic summer for Muir who is also due to compete at the Commonwealth Games for Scotland before the European Championships in Munich in August.

“Even just a medal at one championships is huge,” said Muir, looking to defend her 1500m European title from 2018. “Who knows, but to medal at all three within a short space of time, that would be crazy.  That would be fantastic.

“That’s what I set out at the start of the year – to run in all championships and win a medal at all three.

“I’ve just got to try and not get too carried away with thinking about that just now and trying to focus on one championship at a time.”

Muir is joined in the heats by Katie Snowden and Melissa Courtney-Bryant while Reece Prescod and Zharnel Hughes run in the 100m heats.

Nick Miller (hammer) and Sophie McKinna (shot put) compete while Holly Bradshaw is aiming to add to her Olympic bronze when she begins her pole vault qualification.

The 4x400m mixed relay team also have the chance to win Great Britain’s first medal with the heats and the final on the opening day at Hayward Field.

Source: independent.co.uk

Mary Moraa on fire in Stockholm as she beats Keely Hodgkinson

World Under 18 400m silver medalist, Mary Moraa was on fire as she beat Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson at the Stockholm Diamond League Meeting held on Thursday (30) in Stockholm, Sweden.

 The 21 year-old clocked her second fastest time of 1:57.88, following up her impressive victory at the Athletics Kenya National Trials in Nairobi last week where she set her life time best of 1:57.45.

“I am very happy with the win and the way I ran. I came here to win, but it wasn’t easy. I will be representing the Kenya in the 400m and the 800m at the World Championships in Oregon”. said Moraa

Moraa was followed Hodgkinson, who beat Olympic 1500m silver medallist Laura Muir at the Oslo meeting last month when she crossed the finish line in 1:58.18.

The 2019 Summer Universiade champion, Catriona Bisset from Australia finished in third place in seasonal best of 1:58.54

World champion Halimah Naakayi and United States Sage Hurta came in fourth and fifth place in a time of 1:58.85 and 1:58.95 respectively.

This is Moraa’s second Diamond league victory in her career after the Rabat meet.

Keely Hodgkinson beats Laura Muir in Oslo

Olympic 800m silver medallist, Keely Hodgkinson beat Olympic 1500m silver medallist Laura Muir at the Oslo Diamond League held on Thursday (16) at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo, Norway.

The 20 year-old continued her impressive form ahead of next month’s World Championships by leading a1-2 British podium finish as she comfortably clinched her third consecutive Diamond League wins this season with a European seasonal best of 1:57.71.  She was followed by Muir in a time of 1:58.09.

The 2016 European silver medallist, Renelle Lamote from France came home in third in 1:58.50.

World 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi from Uganda finished in fourth in a season best of 1:58.68 with the 2018 World U20 Champion, Diribe Welteji from Ethiopia coming home in fifth in 1:58.69

Laura Muir makes her return with a win in Birmingham

Olympic 800m silver medallist and British National Record holder Laura Muir was pushed to the wall by Jessica Hull as she took the top honors when opening her season at the Müller Diamond League held on Saturday (21), at the newly renovated Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

The 28 year-old won the 1500m silver medal behind Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon in Tokyo last summer and was forced to abandon her indoor season early this year after suffering a back injury, made her first appearance of the season as she builds towards a packed summer, which includes world and European championships, as well as the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with a a fierce battle over Australian National Record holder in 1500m and with the 2018 African 1500m champion Winny Chebet.
Muir who came with a mission, used the roar of the home crowd powering her way to the finish line and taking her first title in a time of 4:02.81.

more to follow…

Student Matthew Stonier relishing Diamond League debut

Student and middle-distance running sensation Matthew Stonier reflected on his meteoric rise last Sunday over 18 holes of golf, savouring his shock victory in the Nike Emsley Carr Mile from the night before.

This Saturday the dream continues for the Loughborough student with his Diamond League debut at just 20 years old in a stacked men’s 1,500m field in Birmingham.

Stonier is Great Britain’s latest young star to emerge amid a renaissance in the 800m and 1,500m, headlined this weekend by Olympic silver medalists Keely Hodgkinson and Laura Muir, and Olympic bronze medalist Josh Kerr. Domestic competition is fiercer than ever and a tantalising prospect ahead of this summer’s main attractions: the World, European and Commonwealth Championships.

Stonier eclipsed Piers Copeland, a European Indoor finalist, in a photo finish at Parliament Hill to log a blazing 3:54.89. While he would be forgiven for admiring his impressive time, focus has immediately switched to Saturday and another leap in competition, with Kerr among eight Olympic finalists, while Samuel Tefera, the World Indoor champion, also features.

“It’s fairytale stuff,” Stonier tells the Independent. “That’s the dream, to compete in Diamond Leagues and against the top guys. Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman [who competes in the 800m on Saturday] are the kind of people you’d ask for an autograph or a photo with. But next thing you’re racing against them. It’s a different mindset, you’re one of them but you don’t feel like it. To race against them now is crazy.”

Last weekend’s breakthrough has left Stonier reconsidering his trajectory to the top of the sport, as he prepares for second-year exams in his geography and sport science degree. There is the temptation to seize every opportunity that will soon come his way, particularly given how his event is fast becoming a young man’s game after the dominance of Norway’s Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, 21, and early success for American phenom Cole Hocker.

Source: independent.co.uk