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Ciara Mageean absence at National Championships 'disappointing' for Sonia O'Sullivan

Sonia O'Sullivan is calling for Irish funded athletes to be required to compete at the Irish National Athletics Championships.

The four-time Olympian responded to Ciara Magean's decision not to compete at this weekend's event earlier this week during the RTÉ Summer of sport launch in Donnybrook on Thursday.

"I didn’t know her reason for not running, but I think it’s disappointing for any athlete not to come to the national championships", O’Sullivan told RTÉ Sport.

"Athletes are always grateful and thankful for the support that they receive from the fans and the people that support them throughout the year, the funding that they get.

"I think it should be 100% a requirement to turn up to the national championships. I think every other country, their athletes’ turn up so why not Ireland."

The former world champion is hoping that this weekend's championships will feel the positive effect of the recent European Championship success as Ireland broke into the top 10 medal table for the first time in competition history.

"I’m looking forward to seeing big crowds out watching and supporting," O'Sullivan said.

"I think a lot of people are talking about athletics now, so it would be amazing to see a big crowd out there, and for people to really get behind the athletes and to give them a massive send-off just before they head out to Paris.

"It’s not long now before the team will be heading off and focusing in on those Olympic games."

O'Sullivan will be attending the National Championships this weekend as part of RTÉ's coverage of the event but to also support her daughter Sophie as she will be competing in the 1500m event.

The 22-year-old qualified for the upcoming Paris Olympic games last August as she achieved the automatic qualifying