Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson wins 800m gold at European Indoor Championships

North West athlete Keely Hodgkinson stormed to victory in the 800m at the European Indoor Championships in Turkey.

The English athlete took to the track yesterday in Istanbul to defend her title and finished two seconds clear of Slovenian sprinter Anita Horvat.

The 21-year-old finished clear in one minute 58.66 seconds ahead of the field to improve her own record with three successful 800m victories.

From Atherton in Greater Manchester, Hodgkinson had earlier set a national record in Istanbul starting her defence for the European indoor title for the 800m whilst also having set a women’s 600m world record in Manchester last week.

The win was specially dedicated to former coach Joseph Galvin who passed away earlier last week.

Holding up a Union flag dedicated to Galvin, Hodgkinson said: “To my coach who passed away a few days ago…it was definitely for him he had a lot of belief in 10-year-old me so that medal is for him.

“I hope to make him really proud, and I know he will be up there watching along.”

Hodgkinson holding up the Union Jack with tribute to late coach Joseph Galvin

British track and field athlete Jazmin Sawyers also struck gold after winning long jump moments after Hodgkinson’s victory.

The 28-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent, achieved a personal best with a 6.97m leap which was celebrated with Hodgkinson on track whilst awaiting her medal confirmation.

“I’ve never won anything,” she said. “I’m still in shock. I feel like a seven-metre jump has been in me for so long. It’s been so long that you start to wonder if it will ever come. I didn’t know it was going to come then.”

Hodgkinson is now preparing for an outdoor season to grab herself another gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August.