Keely Hodgkinson wins silver medal but keeps dreaming of World Championship gold

Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson insisted it is only a matter of time before she ends her silver streak with gold.

The 21-year-old was beaten to 800m gold at the World Championships by Kenya’s Mary Moraa in Budapest, just 13 months after also finishing second in Eugene.

Hodgkinson’s silver was added to by two 4x400m relay bronze medals on the final day meaning Great British finish with 10 – their joint best at the World Championships, level with Stuttgart in 1993.

She clocked one minute 56.34 seconds with defending champion Athing Mu in third and GB’s Jemma Reekie fifth.

Hodgkinson had been beaten into silver by Mu at last year’s World Championships before Moraa took victory at the Commonwealth Games ahead of her. Mu had also pipped her to gold at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago.

Before the final she admitted she owed both over her rivals and feels gold is within her grasp.

“I wanted to come here to get gold but it’s another podium and consistency has been the word I’ve been using,” said Hodgkinson. “At one point I’m going to get a gold, it’s just a matter of when.

“I’m happy with my performance, gutted I didn’t come out on top but it’s great to be up there with the top three in the world.

“Mary got the jump on us and you can’t really afford that with those two girls. It was a really good race from us all.

“It keeps me on my toes. I’m trying to keep the streak going where I consistently pick up medals. It’s that tiny one per cent so I’ll keep striving towards it.”

Hodgkinson was unable to match Moraa’s pace in the home straight as the Kenyan won in one minute 53.03s but at least overhauled Mu with 50m remaining.

The Briton added: “To be consistently up with the best in the world is all I want from my career. I did think I was going to come through on the inside. The line just came quicker than I thought it would.

“I gave it my all, like I always do. I don’t think I put a foot wrong. I do love it. I was really looking forward to it. I was really up for it. I really did believe I was going to win again – you’ve got to believe, that is half the battle.

“It is a different order to last year, who knows what order it will be next year (at the Olympics)?

“It’s an Olympic year – everyone brings even more of their A game than they usually do. There is no stone left unturned. Like I say, we’ll aim for gold again and see what happens.”

Reekie, who split from long-term coach Andy Young in March, was third with 200m left but could not keep pace in the home straight.

She said: “I am proud of the way I ran it. I was brave and I went out, it was probably just a bit hot in the first lap.

Medal table
(PA graphic)

“I am proud of the way I ran this season. I went to Jon (Bigg, coach) in an absolute mess and our goal was always to run under two minutes again consistently. To be here in the final is exciting for next year.”

Later, the men’s 4x400m relay team of Alex Haydock-Wilson. Charlie Dobson, Lewis Davey and Rio Mitcham won bronze behind the USA and France.

Mitcham said: “We held on, we pushed forward. I’m speechless. We proved that point on the track, that’s all we had to do.

“We’ve got a medal and, next year, we’ll get a better colour. For now, we’ll celebrate with this.”

The women’s squad of Laviai Nielsen, Amber Anning, Ama Pipi and Nicole Yeargin also claimed third in a dramatic finish which saw the Netherlands beat Jamaica on the line after a stunning run from Femke Bol.

Nielsen added: “We are so strong as a team. We had such incredible words behind the scenes. I knew that if I set it up well these girls would carry it on forward. I was doing it for them as much as myself.”

Morgan Lake finished fourth in the high jump after a clearance of 1.97m.