Hodgkinson storms to golden glory at Euros

Keely Champion

The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team enjoyed a superb evening at the Olympiastadion in Munich as they claimed four medals across the session including golds for Keely Hodgkinson and the men’s 4x400m relay team, and bronze medals for the women’s 4x400m relay and Lizzie Bird in the 3000m Steeplechase, taking GB & NI’s overall medal tally up to 18 overall.

Keely Hodgkinson (handicap -3.4) justified her pre-race favourite status with an ultimately dominating run. She bided her time in this race, tracking the moves of the field over the opening 500m before making her decisive move down the back straight, with compatriot Jemma Reekie (handicap -2.8) initially going with the pace before fading in the final 100m, but it was Hodgkinson’s night in Germany. Taking the race on with 200m to go she charged home to take the tape with several metres to spare in 1:59.04.

After securing her gold medal at the third major championships in just six weeks, she was delighted, “I’m definitely really happy to have finished the season with this special gold medal. I felt like the race could have gone a few different ways. I thought I would sit back a little bit and see what everyone else would do. I got to 250m in a good position, and I set it up well to attack the last 120 and I had enough to bring it home.

“This one means a lot. I’ve got a great support team around me who have helped me to mentally get through the season. There has been a lot of changes for myself as I’ve adapted to professional athlete life but I am living out my childhood dreams so I really cannot complain.

“Coming off the Olympic Games last summer, many people go through an Olympic drought after such a high, but I never experienced that. For me it was about keeping turning up for training and applying myself in races. Overall, I’m really happy with this season and I am doing my dream job.”

Reekie ended the race in fifth place in a time of 2:00.31, while Alex Bell (handicap -2.6), who was also in the mix at the final bend, came home in sixth in a time 2:00.68.

In the final track event of the evening the women’s 3000m Steeplechase, both Lizzie Bird (handicap 0.2) and Aimee Pratt  (handicap -1.2), who have been showing tremendous form this season as they have both set new British records in the last two months, were in action.

At the halfway stage of the race, a breakaway group of five included both Bird and Pratt, but the former kept herself in the medal places over the final few laps. With 800m to go, Luiza Gega (ALB) stormed away with no-one able to stay with her. Bird was neck and neck with the German, Lea Meyer, but with a roaring home crowd the German pulled away to take silver and the Briton held on for the bronze medal in 9:23.18. Meanwhile, Pratt ended her European campaign in seventh place in a time of 9:35.31.

Bird, the Commonwealth silver medallist, reflected, “It has sunk in. I’ve got to say I am a little disappointed, I came here to win, and I fell a little short, but I gave it everything I had today. I went for it, I gave it all I had but my legs just gave way on that last lap so I am happy I hung on for bronze. I can’t remember the last time my legs felt like that in a steeplechase. Getting over that last barrier was a real challenge but I just about did it!

“My expectations were lifted a lot after the Commonwealths and my run at Monaco and so I take that confidence into next year. If you had told me in January I would get a bronze medal and national records I would have been very, very happy!

“It’s not been a bad summer with Worlds, Commonwealths and here, and if I look back on it, it’s not been too bad at all, but now I am ready for a break!”

Full British Athletics report via this link.

Endurance results on this link

Sunday timetable in Munich for European Athletics Championships (local time is +1 hr), hence first listed event is at 1805 GMT



Great Britain and Northern Ireland medal tally (18):

Gold:  Keely Hodgkinson 800m

Gold: Laura Muir – 1500m

Gold:  Matthew Hudson-Smith – 400m

Gold: Zharnel Hughes – 200m

Gold:  Men’s 4 x 400m relay


Silver: Eilish McColgan – 10,000m

Silver: Jake Heyward – 1500m

Silver: Dina Asher-Smith – 200m

Silver: Zharnel Hughes – 100m

Silver: Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake – 200m


Bronze: Lizzie Bird – 3000m Steeplechase

Bronze: Eilish McColgan – 5000m

Bronze: Jeremiah Azu – 100m

Bronze: Daryll Neita – 100m

Bronze:  Alex Haydock-Wilson – 400m

Bronze: Lawrence Okoye – Discus

Bronze: Jazmin Sawyers – Long Jump

Bronze: Women’s 4 x 400m relay