GB teenager Hodgkinson wins 800m silver

Keely Hodgkinson wrapped in a Union Jack flag
Keely Hodkginson claimed a shock 800m win at the British trials in June
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
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Nineteen-year-old Keely Hodgkinson won a sensational 800m silver medal at the Olympic Games in a new British record of one minute 55.88 seconds as US teenager Athing Mu took gold.

Hodgkinson looked shocked by her achievement, saying “that is mental” in response to being told she was an Olympic silver medallist.

Great Britain came close to bronze too, but Jemma Reekie was edged out by American Raevyn Rogers by 0.09s.

Mu, also 19, finished in 1:55.21.

“I am pretty speechless right now,” Hodgkinson said after breaking a national record set by Kelly Holmes in 1995 and winning Team GB’s first track medal of Tokyo 2020.

“Kelly Holmes is a legend and I looked up to her. I have been speaking to her for the past couple of days and she is a lovely person.

“I want to thank my amazing team, my family who have made so many sacrifices for me.

“I think it is just one of those things where you know something like that is possible but whether it comes out you just don’t know. It was such a good race.

“I wanted to put it all out there and I did that. It is going to take a couple of days to sink in.”

It was the first time three British women had ever qualified for an Olympic 800m final, with the third of the trio, 28-year-old Alex Bell, finishing seventh in a personal best of 1:57.66.

Hodgkinson’s success rounds off an incredible breakthrough season in which she became European indoor 800m champion in March before claiming a shock win over Reekie and Laura Muir at the British trials in June.

Muir later decided not to run the 800m at the Olympics, allowing Bell to come in as a replacement, and will instead focus solely on the 1500m.

Hodgkinson’s elation turned to tears as she the scale of her achievement became real during her post-race interview.

“My friends are going to be like, ‘what is she crying for?’ but it means so much,” the Leeds Beckett University student said.

“If the Olympics was last year, I wouldn’t be here. It has given me a chance to grow and compete with these girls.

“I am not just 19, Athing is 19 too, so teenagers taking on the podium is incredible and hopefully we have got many battles ahead of us.”

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