Hodgkinson dominates 800m on final day of the Euro Indoor Championships

Keely Hodgkinson medal

Teenager Keely Hodgkinson claimed her first European senior title as the British team added several medals to their tally to equal their best haul at the European Indoor Athletics Championships over the weekend.

Hodgkinson (handicap -2.1), who only turned 19 on Wednesday, timed her move perfectly to take the lead with 250m to go and held her nerve as she ramped up the pace with a 30 and then 28 second final lap.

Despite a late surge from Joanna Józwik (POL), Hodgkinson kicked again to power across the line in 2:03.88 for her maiden senior title and become the youngest British champion at the event since Marilyn Neufville in 1970.

After the race, Hodgkinson exclaimed: “I’m so happy. You never quite understand the shock when it happens. You picture it in your head so many times, but when the reality comes through, it’s just a different feeling.

“I didn’t really think about the pressure. I am only 19 and I’m still learning and there’s still things that I’m going to learn. I just wanted to keep my same relaxed state like I did in the heats and the semi-final. Me and Trevor [Painter] talked about that and we said not to change anything for the final. I just didn’t want to make any mistakes and I really believed in myself.

“They trust my instincts. They are really letting me grow into my athlete and Jenny’s [Meadows] experience is there to tap into if I need it. They said to me ‘just keep the same relaxed state and you’ll know how you feel and what to do’ and that’s what I did.”

Teammate Ellie Baker (handicap -1.5) narrowly missed out on bronze, crossing the line fourth in 2:04.40 after a last 50m burn up with Józwik and Angelika Cichocka, with Issy Boffey (handicap -1.5), also making her senior British debut, sixth in 2:07.26.

A bold front-run from Jamie Webb (handicap -6.4) in the men’s 800m final saw him rewarded with a bronze in 1:46.95 following a sprint-finish. It all came down to a sprint finish for the Briton, who had led from the first lap of the race, but as Poland’s Patryk Dobek hit the front at the bell, Webb found himself having to hold off the challenge of Adam Kszczot (POL) and Mateusz Borkowski (POL) in the final 100m on the final bend.

Webb gave it his all but could not hold off the challenge of Borkowski, who pipped him to silver on the line in 1:46.90, with Dobek notching a personal best 1:46.81 for gold.

After winning bronze, Webb said: “I’m really happy to come away with another medal and repeating being on the podium in Glasgow. I wanted to upgrade my medal but I wouldn’t quite call it a downgrade.

In the men’s 3000m final,  Andrew Butchart (handicap -6.8) and Jack Rowe (handicap -6.0) came home in seventh and ninth position respectively, clocking 7:52.15 and 7:53.47 respectively. A slow start to proceedings left the pack very bunched in the early stages but as the pace wound up in the final 800m, Butchart and Rowe found themselves playing catch-up with Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s (NOR) 2:21 final 1000m that took him to gold in 7.48.20. 

British medallists at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland:

Gold               Keely Hodgkinson (women’s 800m), Amy-Eloise Markovc (women’s 3000m)

Silver             Holly Archer (women’s 1500m),

Andrew Pozzi (60m hurdles), Cindy Sember (60m hurdles), Women’s 4x400m  

Bronze          Verity Ockenden (women’s 3000m), Jamie Webb (men’s 800m),

Men’s 4x400m,  Jodie Williams (400m), Holly Bradshaw (pole vault), Tiffany Porter (60m hurdles)


Full report from British Athletics here.