Leigh's Keely Hodgkinson safely through to Olympic semis

Keely Hodgkinson is through to Saturday's 800m semi-finals at her first Olympics after safely negotiating the opening round in Tokyo.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 11:53 am
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 11:54 am
Leigh's Keely Hodgkinson has her sights set on an Olympic medal

The Leigh athlete finished second in her heat in two minutes 01.59 seconds to qualify, with the British champion wearing shoes with slogans written on by family and friends.

She said: "It's definitely been different to what I'm used to, even with the European seniors. It's just bigger, isn't it?

"Everyone watches the Olympics, it's big for everyone, so there's definitely been a lot more attention around it.

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"But I'm enjoying it and I'm taking it all in, and hopefully I've got a couple more Olympics in me.

"I just wanted to make sure I wasn't too slow to give other people a chance.

"I'm just happy I got the job done. I want to be in that final just as much as everyone else."

Team-mate Jemma Reekie won the heat in one minute 59.97secs.

"That was good, I'm glad to get that done. It wasn't quite as I would have liked, I didn't quite do what I wanted but I'm through and that's the main thing," she said.

"It was a little bit messy and I was a little bit all over the place but that's job done now and I can aim at tomorrow."

Alex Bell finished fourth but reached the semi-finals as one of the next six fastest outside the automatic qualifiers.

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