I was ‘losing my mind’ waiting for the race to start, says Keely Hodgkinson


Keely Hodgkinson admits she was tired of waiting to start her World Championship campaign.

The 20-year-old, who won Olympic silver last year, qualified for the 800m semi-final in two minutes 00.88 seconds at Hayward Field on Thursday.

She stayed out of trouble when Australia’s Catriona Bissett – who was eventually advanced to the semi-finals by the judges – tripped and fell in the final 100m and will race Eugene again on Friday.

“I’m glad I started, I’ve been here so long. I was losing my mind,” Hodgkinson said. “I’m happy to be back, feeling like myself again and looking forward to the next round.

“There’s always a surprise, especially in the semi-finals, so I have to stay alert and make sure I get through.

“I felt my ankle cut a couple of times but luckily I didn’t fall and I’m grateful for that. I’m happy to be in the next round.

“I didn’t expect it to be such a fast pace in the 400m and I’m just glad I made it. There were a few bumps, when I tried to take the lead, I got splinters on my feet.

Hodgkinson consoles Australia’s Catriona Bisset after her crash (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I’m healthy, my body is in one piece, ready to go, and I’m just taking it turn by turn.”

Jeema Reekie, fourth at last year’s Olympics, finished second in her heat to reach Friday’s semi-final in America with Ellie Baker and Alex Bell also advancing.

“I felt really good and I felt strong, I’m excited to take this to the semis and hope to do the same and make it to the final on Sunday,” Reekie said.

“I felt really confident and strong and relaxed. That’s what I needed all season, to go out there and feel and I came out and felt really good.

The favorite and Olympic champion, the American Athing Mu, won her heat in 2 minutes 01.30 seconds.

In the men’s 800m semi-final, Daniel Rowden and Kyle Langford missed the final. Max Burgin, the world’s fastest man over the distance this year, retired on Wednesday with a calf injury.

Marc Scott reached the 5,000m final via a non-automatic qualifying spot but Sam Atkin and Andrew Butchart failed to make it.

Ben Williams was also unable to top the triple jump qualifier after posting just 15.98m.