Wiganers lead Commonwealth Games bid

Keely Hodgkinson, Emily Borthwick and Harry Coppell have all been selected for Team England's assault at next month's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

By Paul Kendrick
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 4:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 4:39 pm

Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson will be looking to repeat their gold medal success of four years ago.

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But 20-year-old Hodgkinson from Leigh - who is coached by Wigan’s Trevor Painter and his wife Jenny Meadows - will be red-hot favourite in the 800m after winning an Olympic silver medal last year.

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Emily Borthwick and Harry Coppell

And fellow Wiganers Borthwick and her partner Coppell will also fancy their chances in the high jump and pole vault respectively after impressing in Tokyo.

Heptathlon champion Johnson-Thompson will defend the crown she won at Gold Coast in 2018.

The 29-year-old - who will also aim to retain her world title in Eugene next month - recovered from a ruptured Achilles to make last year's Olympics, only for a calf injury to force her out of the heptathlon.

World 200m champion Asher-Smith will run in the 100m and 4x100m aiming to improve on the 100m individual bronze she won four years ago, having also claimed gold in the relay.

Also included is Holly Bradshaw, who won Team GB's first ever Olympic pole vault medal when she took bronze in Tokyo, and who for years trained at Wigan's Robin Park Arena.

Daryll Neita, who reached the Olympic 100m final, will compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

Sprinters Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Reece Prescod (100m) are joined by Adam Gemili and Zharnel Hughes, who will both run in the 200m, with all four in the 4x100m relay squad.

European 400m champion Matthew Hudson-Smith will also race at his home track of the Alexander Stadium.

He said: "It's a great honour to be selected. It's my third Commonwealth Games selection and I think this one means the most, especially as it's a home championship.

"It will mean a lot to be able to compete at home in front of friends and family and represent England again.

"I've been training at the Alexander Stadium since I was 10 so it will be quite an emotional rollercoaster for me.

"With all the training and the experiences I've gone through I feel like I am a lot more prepared than I've ever been. It's going to be fun, exciting, scary, but I'm looking forward to it."