Wigan's Emily Borthwick stars on full GB debut
Emily Borthwick reflected on a "crazy" debut for Great Britain and Northern Ireland as she leapt into the high jump final at the European Indoor Championships.
The Wigan Harrier recorded a four centimetre personal best with a third-time clearance at 1.91m to qualify for the final of the women’s high jump. British compatriot Morgan Lake did not progress following a 1.87m best.
Borthwick required a third-time clearance at a personal-best equalling 1.87m to keep herself in the competition but saved her best effort for last as she leapt over 1.91m at the third time of asking to secure the final qualification spot for the final.
"More than anything, it was about just backing myself and believing that I could be up there with those girls,” she reflected. “Jodie [Williams] is my roommate and her speech definitely resonated with me and today that has shown and I couldn’t be happier.
“I had two attempts at 1.91m and I was like ‘it’s now or never. If I jump this, I’m in the final’.
"It’s a big PB and to be honest, I just enjoyed myself and that was the most important thing about coming here.
“I’ve only recently over the last five years chosen high jump as my main event, so to see these girls on TV and to be one of them is crazy.”
Leigh's Keely Hodgkinson is one of three 800m runners through to the women's final on Sunday evening.
She controlled her semi-final from the off and kicked away from the field in the final 150m to ease home in 2:03.11, the fastest time of the semis.
“I knew what I could do. It was just about not panicking," said the 19-year-old, who is coached by Wigan's Trevor Painter.