This is the fifth article by Stuart Weir on the Birmingham WIT Final. Stuart wrote this on Keely Hodgkinson and her NR at 800 meters.
Keely Hodgkinson, British record
Keely Hodgkinson is a superstar of World athletics – Olympic and World Championship silver medallist – European Indoor and outdoor champion, and Diamond League champion. And she is just 20. She comes across as a normal 20-year-old, with normal 20-year-old ambitions – like wanting to drive an Aston Martin!
Saturday’s 800m race was set up as an attempt on the British record – winning the race and the series title seemed a foregone conclusion. There were also whispers of a possible world record partly fuelled by the strange coincidence that the current world indoor record had been set by Jolanda Ceplak on the day Hodgkinson was born almost 21 years ago.
Talking in advance about the record attempt she said: “I feel I am in pretty good shape and I feel if the perfect smooth race was to happen I could get close to it [the world record]. I would have to go 57.2 seconds, 57.3 [at halfway]. For me it is just about attacking it and hitting that mark of 57 and trying to get a smooth run. The world record is a very hard record to break but I will do my best and see what happens. My aim is to ultimately try and break my own British record”.
The result was
1 Keely Hodginson 1:57.18
2 Catriona Bisset (Australia) 1:59.83
3 Isabelle Boffey (GBR) 2:00.25
Hodgkinson commented: “It was pretty smooth running, but the line got away from me towards the end. I’m a bit gutted because I feel like I’m capable of faster than that. When you set your goals high, you want to achieve them. It was a tough record to get the world record, but I’ll keep trying and I’ll keep coming back to give it a go. I’m happy to come away with another British record”.
Moving forward added: “I don’t tend to look back that much because there’s always the next thing in sport. For me now, it’s straight into the Europeans next week and that’s my focus now. For the Worlds, again it’s a late peak in August, but I’m looking forward to the rest of the year. I’ve been waiting for the Worlds since last August so I’m raring to go this year. At the end of the year, I think I will look back and see that this was a good building block”.