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Keely Hodgkinson storms to 800m gold at European Indoor Champs

Rick Pearson
·2-min read
Photo credit: PressFocus/MB Media - Getty Images
Photo credit: PressFocus/MB Media - Getty Images

From Runner's World

Four days after her 19th birthday, Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson claimed gold in the 800m at the European Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland.

Hodgkinson surged to the front just 200m into the race and held off her more experienced rivals to cross the line in two minutes 3.88 seconds, with fellow Britons Ellie Baker and Isabelle Boffey finishing fourth and sixth, respectively. She is the second-youngest British athlete to win a gold at the Indoors, after Marilyn Neufville, who was 17 when she won gold in the 400m in 1970.

The win is the latest achievement in Hodgkinson’s rapid rise to the top. In January, she became the first British woman to break a world under-20 record for 36 years, running the 800m in 1:59.03.

Speaking about her win, she said: ‘I really believed in myself, because if I don’t, who is going to? I’ve always thought it doesn’t matter how old you are; as long as you’re healthy and doing things rights, you can be capable of anything. You’ve just got to believe in yourself and not be intimidated by the older girls.’

Hodgkinson’s coaches, Trevor Painter and Jenny Meadows, believe she can beat Dame Kelly Holmes’ British record for the 800m of 1:56.21, which has stood since 1995. But the teenager is not getting carried away.

‘I’m not really looking at those expectations,’ she said. ‘I’m just going to carry on and try and enjoy it and put myself forward with the senior girls because it’s OK saying: “Let’s get to the Olympics.”’

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