Keely Hodgkinson SMASHES Kelly Holmes’ British record to become first British 800m medallist since Athens 2004 with a superb silver, as American favourite Athing Mu seals blistering win
Keely Hodgkinson finished second in the women’s 800m final to break Kelly Holmes’ British record and become Team GB’s first Olympic medallist in the event since 2004, in a race that featured three British women in an Olympic final for the first time ever.
Hodgkinson broke a long-standing record that Holmes had held since 1995. Her time of 1 minute and 55.88 seconds smashed Holmes’ record of 1:56:21.
Jemma Reekie and Alexandra Bell also broke their own personal bests to finish fourth and seventh respectively.
Keely Hodgkinson took the silver medal in the women’s 800m in a new British record time
The victory went to the impressive Athing Mu – the US athlete and hot favourite taking gold in a time of 1:55:21.
Mu was always comfortable in front, but all three British women were happy to race at the back in the first lap before Reekie and Hodgkinson made their moves in the final lap.
Reekie looked well in contention for a medal, but she ran out of steam at the end as Raevyn Rogers passed her for bronze.
Hodgkinson celebrates as she crosses the finish line to finish second behind Athing Mu
Alexandra Bell (right) embraces Hodgkinson as she finished an impressive seventh
Bell didn’t receive any funding to get to this event, but she was actually the fastest of the three British women in the semi-finals to qualify.
The 28-year-old from Leeds finished seventh – this after Laura Muir pulled out of the event to focus on the 1500m.
But it was Hodgkinson to burst clear of the other medal contenders – her time beating the record Holmes set 26 years ago by over half a second.
‘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,’ said Hodkinson.
‘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 just missed out on a medal to finish fourth, but she still achieved a personal best
USA’s Raevyn Rogers finished strongly to cross the line in third, narrowly ahead of Reekie
Reekie added: ‘I wanted to win, but sometimes you have to learn. Paris isn’t too far away.
‘I wanted to do better. I am going to be hard on myself because I wanted to win but I think I’ll look back in two years’ time and realise how well I’ve done.’
Bell was delighted with her run, and said: ‘I’m glad that I’ve got a PB out of it, I was just so focused on not coming last!
‘I wasn’t even bothered about the time during the race. But that’s just racing, when you’re focused on the race the times just follow.’
Athing Mu was the favourite and she delivered, winning the gold medal in a time of 1:55:21