Hodgkinson hopes Commonwealth pain can inspire European Championship gold

·2-min read
Commonwealth Games - Athletics - Women's 800m - Final - Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, Britain - August 6, 2022 England's Keely Hodgkinson celebrates after winning silver REUTERS/Phil Noble
Commonwealth Games - Athletics - Women's 800m - Final - Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, Britain - August 6, 2022 England's Keely Hodgkinson celebrates after winning silver REUTERS/Phil Noble

Keely Hodgkinson says the pain of her world and Commonwealth silvers is fuelling her battle through end-of-season fatigue as she targets a long-awaited gold at the European Championships.

The Wigan Borough ace waltzed through her 800m heat in Munich as a time of 2:03.72 fired her into Friday night’s semi-finals.

Hodgkinson, 20, fell short of gold medals at this summer’s World Championships and Commonwealth Games as she went down against American star Athing Mu and Kenyan Mary Moraa in both Eugene and Birmingham.

And after watching British teammate Matt Hudson-Smith follow up his bronze and silvers with 400m gold to ‘complete the set’ on Wednesday night, Hodgkinson is hellbent on doing the same in Germany this weekend.

The Olympic silver medallist said: “This time of the year when you’re a bit tired and fatigued, I need a challenge to get myself up and make me really feel good.

“I’m not glad I got the silvers, because I really wish I got the gold, but I’m ready to come here and really fight for that gold.

“I can tell this is going to be a little bit harder [than the Worlds and Commonwealths] – more just mentally.

“I can tell my body’s a bit tired, but we’re here.

“I just need to get through the rounds and hopefully come away with a nice shiny gold.

“I had more of a rest between the World and Commonwealths than I did for this, and I almost did a full week of training.

“Fingers crossed tomorrow goes okay and I can get through to the final.”

Hodgkinson propelled herself onto the scene in Tokyo last summer with a brilliant silver medal behind Mu, also 20.

And she cemented her status as one of British Athletics’ hottest prospects this season with two more medals at major championships.

Hodgkinson was beaten by just 0.08s in Oregon after a running a season’s best of 1:56:38 while at the Alexander Stadium, she lost against Moraa by 0.33s.

The north-west star is trying to manage her workload ahead of upcoming Diamond League events but admits climbing to the top of the podium on Saturday night is her number one priority.

She added: “I'm just trying to get through the rounds.

“It's definitely an important championships for me, and I've got a big few weeks ahead, so I'm just trying to conserve energy and get through these rounds as easily as I can.”

The multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, featuring Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Canoe Sprint, Cycling, Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Rowing, Sport Climbing, takes place 11th-21st August on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics Games in the German city. Watch daily live coverage across BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website