There was positive news for Team GB in the women’s 800 metres on the opening day of athletics competition at Tokyo 2020, as Jemma Reekie, Keely Hodgkinson and Alexandra Bell all advanced to the semi-finals.
Reekie won her heat in the second-fastest time of those to qualify, while Hodgkinson claimed second in her heat and Bell was rewarded for a determined effort with a fastest-loser spot.
There are high hopes in the GB camp that Reekie can challenge for a medal and she produced a polished display to win Heat 6.
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Those in Reekie’s heat knew what the mark was, given they were in the final race of qualifying, and they went out hard.
Reekie kept it simple by sitting close to the pace and taking over down the back straight on the final lap.
The British runner was challenged by Sara Kuivisto with 200m to run, only to see off the Finn.
The final challenge came from Ajee Wilson but Reekie had enough in reserve to take first place and a spot in the semi-finals.
Hodgkinson produced a fine run to take second place behind Raevyn Rogers, and Bell battled hard down the home straight to claim fourth in her heat and it was enough to secure qualification.
The semi-finals of the event are on Saturday.
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