There will be bigger championships against better pitches, but the first temptation is to assume that Keely Hodgkinson will be among the best of them soon after she becomes the teenage queen of Europe on Sunday.
Less than a week after turning 19 and a month after breaking the under-20 world record, she put in a strong performance to win gold in the 800m on her international debut at the European Championships in theaters in Torun, Poland.
She rose to the forefront at the start of a controlled tactical race, before showing brilliant finishing speed in a final lap of 28.28 seconds and crossing in 2: 03.88. The Polish pair of Joanna Jozwik and Angelika Cichocka – women who had previously won away gold and bronze medals respectively in Europe – were quality scalps in second and third place, with Hodgkinson becoming the youngest British winner at that time. level since Marilin Neufville in 1970.
Keely Hodgkinson won 800m gold for Great Britain at European Indoor Championships
After leading Britain’s seven-medal harvest on the final day and contributing a total of 12 which equates to Glasgow’s 2019 national record of 12, Hodgkinson said: “I’m so happy. You never really understand the shock when it comes in. You imagine it in your head so many times, but when reality shows up, it’s just a different feeling.
“I didn’t really think about the pressure. I’m only 19 and I’m still learning and there are still things I’m going to learn. I really believed in myself because if I don’t, who will? ‘ The answer to this question is probably bigger than she thinks. Despite all the mud and chaos around UK Athletics, Hodgkinson is one of the many talents on the track to come.
Given that her discipline includes the revolutionary 2020 star Jemma Reekie and a seasoned performer of Lynsey Sharp among others, it will be fascinating to see if she makes a run for the Tokyo Olympics team. But even if she fails, this Wigan Criminology student is on a 1: 59.03 runner trajectory to be a major contender for the next cycle.
The Wigan teeanger fought off Joanna Jozwik to win in two minutes 3.88 seconds on Sunday
“There could be a rewrite of what I had in mind for this year,” she said. “Nonetheless, I’m not really looking at the expectations.”
Hodgkinson, who is flanked by former 800m world bronze medalist Jenny Meadows, was the top performer of a day who brought in seven medals but no other gold. World indoor champion Andrew Pozzi equaled his personal best of 7.43 seconds in the 60m hurdles but was beaten to silver by France’s Wilhem Belocian, while men’s 800m favorite Jamie Webb won bronze. He said: “I hate to be disappointed with a medal, but it was so close. I really wanted to improve on that money from two years ago.
American sisters Cindy Sember and Tiffany Porter took silver and bronze respectively in the 60m hurdles. Porter is the first athlete to win a medal while wearing a mask.
The men’s 4x400m relay team (Joe Brier, Owen Smith, James Williams and Lee Thompson) took bronze and the women’s equivalent (Zoey Clark, Jodie Williams, Amarachi Pipi and Jesse Knight) won silver.