Olympic 800m silver medallist, Keely Hodgkinson beat Olympic 1500m silver medallist Laura Muir at the Oslo Diamond League held on Thursday (16) at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo, Norway.
The 20 year-old continued her impressive form ahead of next month’s World Championships by leading a1-2 British podium finish as she comfortably clinched her third consecutive Diamond League wins this season with a European seasonal best of 1:57.71. She was followed by Muir in a time of 1:58.09.
The 2016 European silver medallist, Renelle Lamote from France came home in third in 1:58.50.
World 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi from Uganda finished in fourth in a season best of 1:58.68 with the 2018 World U20 Champion, Diribe Welteji from Ethiopia coming home in fifth in 1:58.69
Olympic 800m silver medallist and British record holder Keely Hodgkinson made a return in style to Birmingham as she took charge of the race from the gun to finish at the Müller Diamond League held on Saturday (21), at the newly renovated Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.
The 20 year-old broke at this venue in February the British National Indoor record last when she clocked 1:57.20, the fastest indoor time for 20 years.
Hodgkinson who won the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo breaking Kelly Holmes’ long standing British outdoor with 1:55.88 and won the Wanda Diamond League Final in Zurich took the top honors in front of her home crowd in a time of 1:58.63.
Student and middle-distance running sensation Matthew Stonier reflected on his meteoric rise last Sunday over 18 holes of golf, savouring his shock victory in the Nike Emsley Carr Mile from the night before.
This Saturday the dream continues for the Loughborough student with his Diamond League debut at just 20 years old in a stacked men’s 1,500m field in Birmingham.
Stonier is Great Britain’s latest young star to emerge amid a renaissance in the 800m and 1,500m, headlined this weekend by Olympic silver medalists Keely Hodgkinson and Laura Muir, and Olympic bronze medalist Josh Kerr. Domestic competition is fiercer than ever and a tantalising prospect ahead of this summer’s main attractions: the World, European and Commonwealth Championships.
Stonier eclipsed Piers Copeland, a European Indoor finalist, in a photo finish at Parliament Hill to log a blazing 3:54.89. While he would be forgiven for admiring his impressive time, focus has immediately switched to Saturday and another leap in competition, with Kerr among eight Olympic finalists, while Samuel Tefera, the World Indoor champion, also features.
“It’s fairytale stuff,” Stonier tells the Independent. “That’s the dream, to compete in Diamond Leagues and against the top guys. Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman [who competes in the 800m on Saturday] are the kind of people you’d ask for an autograph or a photo with. But next thing you’re racing against them. It’s a different mindset, you’re one of them but you don’t feel like it. To race against them now is crazy.”
Last weekend’s breakthrough has left Stonier reconsidering his trajectory to the top of the sport, as he prepares for second-year exams in his geography and sport science degree. There is the temptation to seize every opportunity that will soon come his way, particularly given how his event is fast becoming a young man’s game after the dominance of Norway’s Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, 21, and early success for American phenom Cole Hocker.
The medallists from the men’s Olympic 100m and 200m finals in Tokyo, plus the men’s world indoor 60m final in Belgrade, will all clash in a stacked 100m field announced for the Prefontaine Classic, part of the Wanda Diamond League series, in Eugene on 28 May.
Reigning Olympic champions Marcell Jacobs and Andre De Grasse will go up against Fred Kerley, Kenny Bednarek, Noah Lyles, Marvin Bracy and Christian Coleman, as well as Olympic 100m fifth-place finisher Ronnie Baker, at Eugene’s Hayward Field.
They will all be looking to make their mark ahead of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 taking place in the same stadium in July.
“I am honoured and excited to be part of this year’s Prefontaine Classic at the University of Oregon in Eugene,” said Italy’s Olympic 100m champion Jacobs, who also claimed the world indoor 60m title in Belgrade last month.
“It’s going to be my first race in the US since the Tokyo Olympics and the adrenaline is already pumping. I can’t wait to feel the track beneath my feet.”
De Grasse won the 100m at last year’s Prefontaine Classic, a few weeks after becoming a three-time Olympic medallist in Tokyo. The Canadian claimed 4x100m silver and 100m bronze in Japan along with his 200m title.
Kerley secured 100m silver between Jacobs and De Grasse in Tokyo, while Bednarek gained silver and Lyles bronze behind De Grasse in the 200m. At the World Athletics Championships Belgrade 22, Jacobs was joined on the podium by silver medallist Coleman and bronze medallist Bracy.
The men’s 100m is the latest in a number of strong fields announced for the Eugene meeting. All three Tokyo Olympic medallists – Athing Mu, Keely Hodgkinson and Raevyn Rogers – will race in the 800m, while champion Mondo Duplantis will take on his fellow Tokyo Olympic medallists Chris Nilsen and Thiago Braz in the pole vault.
Michael Norman, Michael Cherry and Kirani James will race the 400m, while Rai Benjamin and Alison Dos Santos will go head-to-head in the 400m hurdles and the 100m hurdles will pit Keni Harrison against Jasmine Camacho-Quinn. Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Nicola McDermott will renew their rivalry in the high jump.
Oceania’s Indoor Record holder Catriona Bisset won a very close women’s 800m beating World Outdoor champion, Halimah Nakaayi at the ORLEN Copernicus Cup which is a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series that was held on Tuesday (22) in Torun, Poland.
Nakaayi had set two National Records when she clocked 1:59.55 in Val de Reuil and 1:58.58 in Liévin had set her mind on the second title but Bisset, who had improved on her Oceanian Indoor Record to 1:59.46 after finishing second to Keely Hodgkinson in Birmingham on her indoor debut was too quick to step ahead at the finish as the race was decided by the timer.
“I felt confident during the competition. This is my second time in the Copernicus Cup. I arrived here four days ago. I am really tired but I am really happy with my participation”, said Bisset.
Bisset edged out the Ugandan when she pulled 2:00.16 against 2:00.19.
Ethiopia’s Tigist Girma, who finished second in Val de Reuil closed the first three podium finishes with a personal best of 2:00.19.
The 2016 European outdoor champion Angelika Chichocka from Poland and Worknesh Mesele, who ran the 11th fastest time in the world in 2021 in the women’s 800m finishing in fourth and fifth in 2:00.05 and 2:05.34 respectively.
Tokyo Olympics 800m silver medallist, Keely Hodgkinson broke the 20 years British Record at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix, which is a World Athletics Indoor Tour gold level series that was held on Friday (19) at the Utilita Arena – Birmingham.
Hodgkinson took charge of the race with two laps to go and she kept increasing her pace that led her to set a New National Record and World lead time in her season opener race.
The 19 year-old cut the tape in a new British record of 1:57.20 erasing the previous record by 0.71secs that had been set by Jemma Reekie.
Hodgkinson was followed a distant later by Catriona Bisset who also ran an Australian National Record of 1:59.46. Former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Natoya Goule from Jamaica, who also ran a world leading time of 1:59.52 yesterday ( 18) in Lievin was forced to settle in third place in 1:59.85
UK ATHLETICS has announced its list of athletes who will receive potentially career-defining funding as the summer Olympics scheduled for Paris in 2024 heave into view.
Among them is Keely Hodgkinson, who has been offered top level funding on the British Athletics Olympic world class programme.
The 19-year-old won 800m silver at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer, smashing Kelly Holmes’s British record, which had stood since 1995, by almost a second.
In March she became the youngest British winner at the European Athletics Indoor Championships for more than half a century and the youngest ever 800m European indoor champion, despite not being on full funding.
Performance director Sara Symington said: “As we start the Paris cycle, and longer-term Los Angeles 2028, we made a number of informed decisions in regard to the world-class programme membership that aligns with our strategic priorities.
“We will work closely with the 67 athlete-and-coach pairings that we are offering membership to, and will look to add support and value in their journey via their individual athlete plan,” she droned.
“The selection process is robust and lengthy and we use a lot of data which is complemented by the knowledge of our event leads to inform the decision-making process.
“We have given careful consideration to those athletes who meet the selection criteria and performance matrix which align to the future ambitions of the world class programme.”
Josh Kerr moves up to podium-level funding after winning 1500m bronze in Japan, as do Andrew Pozzi, Jemma Reekie and Jazmin Sawyers.
Alex Bell, who came seventh in the 800m final, has been offered podium funding just two years after saying she was considering taking legal action against UK Athletics after being overlooked for funding for Tokyo.
They join Dina Asher-Smith, Laura Muir, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Adam Gemili, with just 17 athletes on top-level funding. Reece Prescod and Zharnel Hughes have been downgraded to relay funding only, despite Hughes reaching the 100m Olympic final.
Olympic finalists Lizzie Bird, Jake Heyward and Marc Scott are among the athletes to be offered membership at podium potential level. Andrew Butchart, CJ Ujah and Tom Bosworth have seen their funding cut.
The Olympic Games may be done and dusted, but the 2021 athletics season is far from over as some of the stars of Tokyo 2020 continue their Wanda Diamond League campaigns at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on August 21st.
The eighth meeting of the season will provide an immediate chance to settle some Olympic scores with a whole host of rematches on the track. Men’s 200m gold and silver medallists Andre De Grasse and Kenny Bednarek will go head to head again at Hayward Field, while Athyn Mu, Keely Hodgkinson and Raevyn Rogers make up an Olympic podium full house in the women’s 800m.
The same applies for the women’s 5000m, with reigning Diamond League champion and Olympic gold medallist Sifan Hassan taking on silver and bronze medallists Hellen Obiri and Gudaf Tsegay in the women’s race. All three 5000m medallists (Joshua Cheptegei, Moh Ahmed and Paul Chelimo) will also be in action in a star-studded men’s two-mile race in Eugene.
In the men’s shot put, the USA’s Ryan Crouser will be hoping to add a first career Diamond Trophy to his shiny new Olympic gold medal in the remaining months of the season. He will take on fellow medallists Joe Kovacs and Tom Walsh, who is looking to defend his Diamond League title this year.
Gold and bronze medallists Pedro Pablo Pichardo and Hugues Zango will reprise their men’s triple jump battle on the Diamond League stage, while there could also be a rematch between Olympic and Diamond League champion Mariya Lasitskene and bronze medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh in the women’s triple jump.
WORLD ATHLETICS President Sebastian Coe has hailed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the people of Japan for allowing the dreams of the world’s athletes to come to life at what has proven to be the most globally successful edition of the Games for athletics.
A record 83 teams reached finals in Tokyo, highlighting the global reach of the sport, with 43 teams featuring on the medal podium and 23 of those winning gold.
Some 70 per cent of athletes only get one chance to compete at the Olympic Games and in Tokyo athletes made the most of the opportunity under the most challenging circumstances.
Coe thanked Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for providing the best possible platform on which the sport’s stars could shine. Over ten days of competition, three world records, 12 Olympic records, 28 area records and 151 national records were set in these history-making Games.
“To the people of Japan, we know the hardship you have endured and continue to endure in the face of this global pandemic,” Coe said.
“We owe you a massive debt of gratitude for your gracious hospitality, your professionalism and your friendship. You really have been simply the best and we thank you unreservedly.”
The tally of 43 countries on the medal table is the biggest in athletics for more than 20 years, underlining the diversity and depth of talent in the sport. Across all Olympic sports at the Tokyo Games, 93 teams earned medals, so almost 50 percent of those achieved their dreams in athletics.
For 12 teams – Bahamas, Bahrain, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Grenada, Jamaica, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Puerto Rico and Uganda – athletics was their pathway to the Olympic podium.
In total, athletes at the Games covered a combined distance of 2,045,750 metres in track events and 10,737km in road events. Field eventers threw a combined distance of 1508 metres and jumped a combined distance of 2490 metres.
While the platform was set for many record-breaking performances, the Tokyo 2020 Games will also be remembered for its surprise results, close contests, next generation breakthroughs and moments of fair play.
Among the new stars who shone on the global stage were teenagers Athing Mu and Keely Hodgkinson, who claimed respective gold and silver in the women’s 800m at the age of just 19.
Fourteen athletes under the age of 23 won medals, six of them gold, to underline the exceptional talent coming through the sport.
Meanwhile, one of the most heart-warming moments of the Games came in the men’s high jump when Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi – friends and rivals who battled the same career-threatening injury to make it to Tokyo – decided to share the gold.
All of these moments helped to engage and inspire fans around the globe. World Athletics’ social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok) received 14 million engagements during the duration of the Games, and content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube receiving 155 million impressions.
For the first time, World Athletics also provided a second screen experience – Inside Track Tokyo 2020 – which enabled fans to join celebrities, experts and families online as they shared their reactions live while following the excitement of the Games.