It was a moment she had long dreamed of, long spoken about, and in Rome on Monday evening it finally became a reality for Ciara Mageean. And the tears of joy came flowing along with it.

At the age of 32, the Portaferry native climbed to the top step of the medal rostrum for the first time at a major championship, standing tall with the gold medal around her neck as Amhrán na bhFiann blasted out alongside the Stadio Olimpico.

A large Irish crowd gathered alongside the stage outside the cavernous stadium, just as they had on Saturday, to celebrate her achievement, the second gold medal of the championships for the Irish following Friday night’s mixed relay win.

The tricolours were once again out in force to greet the Down athlete as she climbed atop the podium to receive her reward for a cool, confident and classy display to win the European 1500m title on Sunday night. And after the ceremony, chants of Olé Olé Olé rang out from the travelling fans, just as they had at this same venue 34 years ago for the World Cup quarter-final.

Mageean played a patient game in the final, waiting until the home straight to unleash her devastating kick, which carried her to victory in 4:04.66, her last lap covered in a blazing 60.34, with Britain’s Georgia Bell second in 4:05.33 and France’s Agathe Guillemot third in 4:05.69.

This was the 19th Irish medal in the 90-year history of these championships, across 26 editions, Mageean joining Sonia O’Sullivan as the only individual gold medallists for Ireland across 26 editions.

This evening the focus is on the women’s 400m final at 8.50pm Irish time, where Rhasidat Adeleke looks to have an outstanding chance of maintaining the gold rush for the Irish team and claiming her first major championship medal as an individual.

She will run in lane six in the final, with her chief rival Natalia Kaczmarek of Poland in the lane outside her, while Sharlene Mawdsley also has an outside chance of winning her first individual medal, the Newport sprinter drawn in lane four for the decider.

Adeleke is by far the better 200m runner so will likely turn for home with a lead over Kaczmarek, but the Pole – a world silver medallist last year – is a fast finisher and will be closing Adeleke down in the last 50m. There will likely be very little between them at the finish.

Rising star Nicola Tuthill will undoubtedly savour the experience of her first major championship final as a senior athlete, the 20-year-old Bandon thrower taking to the field for the hammer throw final at 8.33pm, having qualified in seventh place overall yesterday.