An emotional Ciara Mageean celebrated her silver medal success at the European Championships and warned gold medallist Laura Muir that she has her in her sights.
A healthy and respectful rivalry is developing between Mageean and Muir, who celebrated together after crossing the line as the Scottish runner again got the better of her Irish opponent.
Muir beat the Portaferry athlete for gold at the Commonwealth Games last month and repeated the trick at European Championships, but it was a much closer run affair in Munich.
Both runners deployed similar tactics across both races, with Mageean starting strong and leading out before Muir eventually overtook her at the midway stage and powered to victory.
However, unlike in Birmingham, Mageean was able to push her rival all the way as she kept pace and forced the Olympic medallist to draw on all her reserves.
SILVER FOR MAGEEAN - 'This is the best she has ever run in the championship!' @CiaraMageean takes a silver medal with a magnificent run at the European Championships 1500m, GB's Laura Muir taking gold— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 19, 2022
📺 https://t.co/XnOP6grnB7 pic.twitter.com/T8p4g7bq8I
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Mageean was unable to contain her joy and said: "I feel like I very rarely get emotional in athletics but with the year that I've had, I was going around there, seeing all at the tricolours and I’m feeling a bit emotional. It’s absolutely fantastic."
Mageean’s season has been marked by a more aggressive style, where she employed a frontrunning tactic which has paid dividends.
"Everybody says they’re loving the new, aggressive Ciara and sometimes I find myself at the front of the race by accident nearly.
"I tell myself to get out hard and not get bogged in and there’s been a few occasions where I’m like, 'right, I’m leading it’, and you know what, I think I’ve been doing well that way so maybe it’s a good new tactic.
"Racing the athletes out there today, in particular Laura and Sofia Ennaoui, I knew that it was going to be tough. They were the two people I had in the back of my mind.
"Laura used a similar tactic to the Commonwealth Games and I thought that was going to happen.
"In my warm-up I visualised her going from further out which she did today, so when it started happening all I did was say ‘right, do what you thought you would do in that visualisation'.
"I said I’ll go with her and I told myself 'you be her shadow' and that’s what I did, I tried my best to stick to her, Laura’s just got the better of me on a good few occasions now. My time will come.
"I know that I’m there and I’ll keep trying for that gold but to bring two silver medals home this summer, one for Northern Ireland and one for Ireland..."
'I was going around, seeing all the tricolours and I'm feeling bit emotional' - @ciaramageean reacts after her silver medal in Munich, paying tribute to the Irish young guns, gives a shout-out to Portaferry and the late Jerry Kiernan #rtesport— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 19, 2022
📺 https://t.co/W98hM5ljMT pic.twitter.com/VuJlAh8dSQ
While Mageean admits that Muir has the advantage over her at the moment, she’s confident that she’s closing the gap, adding: "I didn’t give her an inch, she just had that strength. Laura a 3:55 runner, I’ve yet to break four minutes.
"She has just that bit more strength on me that means she gets to kick on whenever I might be feeling it in the legs.
"I did exactly what myself and my coach said I would, I stayed a hell of a lot closer to her than in the Commonwealth Games.
"But the feeling knowing that I’m bringing a major medal back home to Ireland and to see that tricolour raised - it’s everything I do this for."