Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Keely Hodgkinson wins 800m silver and breaks Kelly Holmes' British record
Keely Hodgkinson wins 800m silver and breaks Kelly Holmes' British record at age of 19; Jemma Reekie finishes fourth with new personal best while Alex Bell comes in seventh with another personal best.
Last Updated: 03/08/21 2:21pm
Keely Hodgkinson claimed a stunning 800m silver medal at the Olympics as the rising star smashed Kelly Holmes' British record.
The 19-year-old clocked one minute 55.88 seconds to finish behind winner Athing Mu of the USA in Tokyo.
She also set a new national record in the process, beating Holmes' mark of 1.56.21 minutes that the double Olympic champion set in 1995.
Hodgkinson told the BBC: "It was so open and I wanted to put it all out there, I'm so happy.
"Kelly Holmes is a legend. I've looked up to her and spoken to her in the last couple of days, she's a lovely person.
"I just have no words. It means so much, and thank you to everyone that has sent messages over the past couple of days.
"If the Olympics had been last year I wouldn't have been here, but suddenly it's given me a year to grow and compete with these girls."
Jemma Reekie came an agonising fourth, despite setting a new personal best of 1.56.90 minutes, after being caught by the USA's Raevyn Rogers. Alex Bell also claimed a personal best of 1.55.66 minutes to come seventh.
Hodgkinson, studying criminology at Leeds Beckett University, has gone from virtually unknown at the start to the podium in Tokyo.
In January she ran 1:59.03 in an 800m race in Vienna to become the fastest woman under 20 at the distance indoors.
A month later she became the youngest British European Indoor champion for over 50 years after winning the 800m in Torun.
PB's in the 800m final for both @JemmaReekie (1:56.90) and @alexbell92 (1:57.66) 👏👏— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) August 3, 2021
Fantastic performance from both athletes, the future of British middle-distance running looks very bright 🌟
📊Timetable and results: https://t.co/4wDadBIDqW#Tokyo2020 | #Olympics pic.twitter.com/qtQvqsdbp4
Hodgkinson is not funded by British Athletics as, amid the coronavirus pandemic, they did not add anyone further onto the World Class Performance Programme in 2020.
Coach Jenny Meadows, who won world bronze in 2009, tweeted a picture of a relaxed Hodgkinson curling her eyelashes in the build-up to underline her composure.
She has been backed by Barrie Wells, a millionaire businessman and philanthropist who has previously helped fund 18 athletes, including Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, to the London 2012 Olympics.
Wells had promised her the chance to drive an Aston Martin if she had made the final.
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