Keely Hodgkinson admitted the “sky’s definitely the limit” after winning silver for Great Britain in the 800m at Tokyo 2020.
The 19-year-old put in a stunning race to snatch a place on the podium, breaking Kelly Holmes’ long-standing British record over 800m with a time of 1:55.88.
Hodgkinson spoke to Eurosport after the race and paid tribute to Holmes after smashing her record.
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“I’m very speechless at the moment. I think I’m more shocked at the time because that’s crazy,” she said.
That record has stood for so many years. Kelly Holmes is an absolute legend in this sport and will continue to be. That double Olympic gold will go down in history as one of the best.
“I’m so happy I managed to do what I was capable of. I wasn’t one of the favourites going into this, but I knew I could do something like this and I’m really, really happy I did.”
American Athing Mu claimed gold with a fantastic performance, breaking the USA record with a time of 1:55.21.
Hodgkinson will be aiming to go one better at Paris 2024, which is only three years away. The 800m race in Tokyo had two 19-year-olds among in the group with Hodgkinson and USA star Raevyn Rogers.
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It is the first medal GB has won in the athletics in Tokyo 2020 and Hodgkinson said she knew it was going to be a fast race, but expects even more from herself in the future.
“That’s how I think anyway, the sky’s definitely the limit,” Hodgkinson said.
The competition, that field, especially with the other 19-year-old in the race – which is ridiculous – was definitely going to step it up.
“I knew it was going to be fast. That’s the quickest I’ve gone through the bell. I’m happy I committed, I wanted to commit and put everything out there.
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“As long as I’ve put everything on the line, nothing more I could do then I’m happy.”
Former Olympian Jenny Meadows is part of Hodgkinson’s coaching set-up and the Wigan-born athlete said her team knows to keep her relaxed before a race.
“They have so much experience and so much belief in me,” she said.
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“They keep it chill and we FaceTime often. We’re just messing around.
“They know I’m at my best when I’m happy and relaxed and socialising.
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“They just want me to be more and that’s how they get the best out of me. Jenny has been through it.
“She says she loves watching me just as much as I liked watching her. It’s great team and they put so much belief in me, I couldn’t be more grateful to have them by my side.”
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