Ciara Mageean is safely through to the 1,500m semi-finals after a comfortable run in her heat at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.
The Portaferry runner, a bronze medallist indoors and outdoors in Europe, is Ireland's last remaining hope of making a track final in what has been a largely disappointing championships so far.
The top six from each of the three heats plus the six fastest losers went through to Thursday’s semi-final (8pm Irish time) and Mageean finished fifth in her first heat.
The race was won by recently crowned 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, who is going for an unprecedented double, though her achievements have been cast in shadow following the news that her coach Alberto Salazar has been banned for four years for doping offences.
Hassan finished in 4:03.88, .30 of a second ahead of Mageean. Faith Kipyegon of Kenya, American Nikki Hiltz, Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo and Team GB’s Sarah McDonald also qualified automatically from the first heat. Their's was the fastest heat and Mageean finished fifth fastest qualifier overall.
The 1,500m final is on Saturday (5.55pm Irish time) and Mageean has the ability to make it that far, which would be a great way to end the week for Irish athletics.
"I'm feeling good. There is nothing to be left to chance out there. Don't take any rubbish and hold your ground." @ciaramageean is safely through to the 1,500m semi-final and gives herself a big chance of making the final. pic.twitter.com/ErN36cP1Lc— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) October 2, 2019
The highlight so far has been Brendan Boyce's brilliant sixth place in the 50km walk. Still to compete for Ireland are Alex Wright in Friday’s 20km walk and Stephen Scullion in Saturday’s marathon.