Women's 800m, Muller British Olympic Trials..the most eagerly awaited race...


My apologies.

With the US and British Olympic Trials, Oslo Bislett, and ten writers in the queue, I have been busy. I will be caught up around July 4, as we have some fine stories on both Trials, Bislett, and the upcoming Gyulai Memorial, each year becoming a more important meeting.

In the end, we are storytellers.

Each day, when you check out RunBlogRun or see our nightly newsletter, you want the best stories on athletes, events, and our sport that you can find. That is why we write text stories, speak on audio and podcasts and post hundreds of photos.

It is about inspiration.

That is what Stuart Weir, our most prolific writer does. He captures the humanity of our stars. From the joy of Jodie and Hannah Williams, who ran so well in the 400m, to the gutty battle between Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman in the Trials' 1,500m.

Catch your breath...

1325583399.jpgKeely Hodginsen, semi-finals, Women's 800m, photo by British Athletics / Getty Images

Women's 800

The women's 800m race was the most eagerly awaited race in the Sunday programme. Five of the eight athletes already had the Olympic qualifying standard. The first two to finish would guarantee their Olympic place while the third place would be decided by the selectors. It's always fascinating to watch training partners Jemma Reekie and Laura Muir go head-to-head. I have asked both of them in 1 to 1 interview how it works when you are against a friend and training partner.

1325582197.jpgJemma Reekie, 800m, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

Jemma told me: "Andy gives us our race plans or ideas of what we might do in the race but we both respect each other and just get on with what we're doing. We probably don't know what each other is doing in the same way as you don't know what other people in the race are going to do - so why should you know what your training partners going to do? It's very different when we're racing and we've both got different plans but we respect each other and whenever we race each other we always know it's going to be a good race. It's always exciting to race each other because we're both running well so you can expect it to be a fast race".

1325582597.jpgLaura Muir, 800m, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

Laura's perspective was: "Andy generally gives both of us our own race plan. Sometimes we know what the other person is doing and sometimes we don't. We both have our strengths and weaknesses and we both know each other's strengths and weaknesses. I think we're both very respectful of one another. We are such good friends and we're both very good at compartmentalizing things when we're training and when we're off the track".

But the race wasn't just about Reekie and Muir, there was also 19-year-old Keely Hodgkinson the reigning British champion from 2020 when many top athletes decided not to do the national championships. Hodgkinson had won the European indoors title but was very inexperienced in comparison to Reekie and Muir. Alexandra Bell and Adelle Tracey were also in the race. Five athletes with the qualifying time, all worthy of an Olympic place but five into three does not go.

The pace was slow, 61.77 seconds for the first lap. Reekie is in front but everyone is in touch. With just over 200 m to go, Muir takes the lead and starts a long run for home. Reekie and Hodgkinson are not far behind. On the home straight Reekie comes alongside Muir and is in front. But then, timing her run to perfection Hodgkinson storms past both of them. She had just run a 57 second lap. The result was










Laura MUIR








Alexandra BELL








Isabelle BOFFEY


What happened at the finish showed what it all meant to the athletes. Hodgkinson ran to the crowd and embraced coach Trevor Painter and his wife, Jenny Meadows. Reekie found her family and was embracing them one by one. I am not proficient at lip-reading but I'm pretty sure that the phrase "I'm going to the Olympics" was included in the conversation.

1325740955.jpgKeely Hodgkinson wins British 800m! photo by Getty Images/ British Athletics

Hodgkinson, showing that she has a cool tactical head as well as her raw talent, commented: "I really wanted to stay in there as I couldn't afford to give anyone a space let alone a metre. I hadn't realised that last lap was so fast but I am sure my coach will be pleased. Every athlete's aim is to make the final and mine will be the same going into Tokyo but it will be a challenge with the calibre of the athletes".

1325741405.jpgKeely Hodgkinson pushes on Jemme Reekie 2nd, Laura Muir, 3rd, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics

Reekie explained: "I didn't really want to lead it out again but sometimes that's how races pan out. I certainly feel I have done my best in that race. I am so excited and I want to go to Tokyo to compete. The British girls should be out there looking to medal as we are all very strong and in with a chance. We all push one another and we all deserve to be there".

1325741075.jpgKeely Hodkinson, the thrill of victory, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics

Laura Muir, probably surprised to have been overtaken by two athletes on the run-in, commented: "I am happy to get into the top three. I know that doesn't give me an automatic place but I hope I have done enough. It wasn't a great race tactically for me but it is what it is. It wasn't smart and you can't afford that with the calibre of these girls".

1325740956.jpgKeely Hodgkinson takes the British 800m, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics

While it is at the discretion of the selectors, one cannot see any result other than Laura Muir being awarded the third Olympic 800m place.

1325741430.jpgLaura Muir, after the 800m, photo by Getty Images / British Athletics

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