'Bigger picture' goal for Keely after KO

Keely Hodgkinson remains focused on the 'bigger picture' after having to pull out of the World Indoor Championships following an injury scare.

By Paul Kendrick
Monday, 21st March 2022, 1:00 pm

The 20-year-old from Leigh, who is coached by Wigan’s Trevor Painter and his wife Jenny Meadows, was the overwhelming favourite for the 800 metre title.

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New British indoor record for Wigan's Keely Hodgkinson

Hodgkinson, who won Olympic silver last year, warmed up at the Stark Arena but decided not to race in Belgrade following a recurrence of a quad injury picked up earlier in January.

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Keely Hodgkinson with coach Trevor Painter in Belgrade before taking the decision to pull out of the World Indoors due to injury

She said: "I am in great shape so it is obviously a shame not to be competing here in Belgrade, but we decided to take this precautionary step in the best interests of the rest of the year ahead.

"I'm really pleased with my indoor season and it gives me a lot of confidence heading into the summer season which I am really looking forward to.

"Lastly, I would like to pass on my thanks to the medical team for their support and efforts to try and get me on the start line this week."

She added to the BBC: "Luckily it's not a major injury, it's one to two weeks. I said to my coach this morning if it was world outdoors 'strap me up, I'm running'.

"But I don't want this problem to reoccur in the outdoor season.

"I made the right decision. I came here to get a gold medal, unfortunately I didn't make the start line so it's gutting.

"It was quite upsetting. I have never had to pull out of a race before.

"To come to a World Championships, my first Indoor World Championships as well, it's not nice.

"My parents are here as well which is a little bit more upsetting but it's about thinking about the bigger picture."

Hodgkinson was also slated to compete in the women’s 4x400m.

Elsewhere, Wigan’s Emily Borthwick came 10th in the women’s high jump, after clearing 1.84m.

That was some way down on her seasonal best of 1.95m, which she achieved at the prestigious Hustopece high jump meeting last month.

Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh won the gold medal with 2.02m, the best in the world this year.