Relaxed mind helps Keely Hodgkinson become GB’s golden girl at European Indoor Championships

TEENAGER Keely Hodgkinson led from the front to claim 800m gold for Great Britain on the final day of the European Indoor Championships in Torun.

GOLDEN MOMENT: Britain's Keely Hodgkinson wins the women's 800m final at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun. Picture: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images.
GOLDEN MOMENT: Britain's Keely Hodgkinson wins the women's 800m final at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun. Picture: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images.

Four days after her 19th birthday, Hodgkinson held Polish pair Joanna Jozwik and Angelika Cichocka at bay to become Britain’s youngest European Indoors champion since 1970.

It capped a series of remarkably composed performances from Hodgkinson, making her debut in a major senior international Championships, who crossed the line in two minutes 03.88 seconds. Fellow Britons Ellie Baker and Isabelle Boffey finished in fourth and sixth places respectively in the final.

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“You never understand the shock of when it actually happens – you picture it in your head so many times but when the reality comes through it’s very different,” she said. I didn’t want to think about the pressure because I’m only 19 and I’m still learning.

GOLDEN GIRL: Britain's Keely Hodgkinson crosses the finish line to win the women's 800m final at the Poland European Indoor Athletics Championships in Torun. Picture: AP/Darko Vojinovic

“I wanted to take the same relaxed state as I had through the heats and the semi-final, and it really paid off because I really believed in myself.”

Britain’s Jamie Webb took a bronze medal in the 800m final.

Webb, a silver medallist at the 2019 Championships, led for much of the race but was overhauled by Polish pair Patryk Dobek and Mateusz Borkowski, finishing in a time of 1min 46.95sec.

Andrew Pozzi had to settle for the silver medal in the men’s 60 metres hurdles final despite equalling his personal best of 7.43 seconds.

Pozzi was pipped by Wilhem Belocian of France by one hundredth of a second.

Sisters Cindy Sember and Tiffany Porter claimed silver and bronze medals respectively in the women’s 60m hurdles, finishing behind reigning champion Nadine Visser of the Netherlands, who stormed home in 7.77 seconds, with Sember crossing in 7.89sec and Porter three hundredths further back.

Britain’s men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams rounded off the Championships with bronze and silver medals respectively, the women’s quartet of Jessie Knight, Zoey Clark, Jodie Williams and Ama Pipi finished second behind the Netherlands.

And the men’s team of Joe Brier, Owen Smith, Lee Thompson and James Williams took bronze behind the Netherlands and Czech Republic.

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