European Athletics Championships 2024: Keely Hodgkinson defends 800m title

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Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson efficiently defended her 800m title with a dominant victory regardless of battling sickness on the European Athletics Championships in Rome.

The 22-year-old led all through and held off her rivals within the closing levels to win in a single minute 58.65 seconds.

Following her victory, the Olympic and two-time world silver medallist revealed she had change into unwell a day earlier.

“Sometimes you’ve simply received to discover a solution to win,” Hodgkinson advised BBC Sport.

“I needed to exit and get a very good time right this moment however I’m pleased with the win. I feel I might have been disillusioned if I didn’t attempt.”

Slovakia’s Gabriela Gajanova took silver in 1:58.79 and France’s Anais Bourgoin was third in 1:59.30.

It is Hodgkinson’s second main title following success in Munich two years in the past and comes earlier than she targets a primary world title at Paris 2024.

With each a private finest and season’s finest time greater than three seconds quicker than anybody else within the last, she may hardly have lined up as a stronger favorite to defend her European crown.

While she didn’t win by the margin maybe anticipated – having run a world-leading time of 1:55.78 to beat world champion Mary Moraa in Eugene this yr – Hodgkinson at all times appeared in management as she collected the eighth main medal of an already gorgeous senior profession, which solely began in 2021.

The supremely proficient Briton has been pushing the world’s finest since contesting her first main championships on the Tokyo Olympics.

Following that gorgeous breakthrough silver at these Games three years in the past and successive world silvers since, Hodgkinson’s eyes at the moment are fastened on gold in Paris, the place she is as soon as once more anticipated to battle Moraa and American Olympic champion Athing Mu for world supremacy.

Hodgkinson’s victory lifted the British crew to 3rd within the medal desk, with three golds and 12 medals in whole, on the ultimate night time of motion within the Italian capital.

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