Keely Hodgkinson and Jemma Reekie reach 800m world final in contrasting fashion

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Keely Hodgkinson and Jemma Reekie both booked their places in the final of the women’s 800metre in entirely contrasting fashions at the World Athletics Championships on Friday night.

Hodgkinson returned to her preference for front-running in her semi-final to comfortably make the final in a time of 1:58.48.

Reekie, meanwhile, was badly boxed in late on but found a gap and put in a late charge over the final 150m to force her way into Sunday’s final.

Reekie and Hodgkinson, who has been the fastest women this year, face stiff competition from Athing Mu and Mary Moraa in the final.

After her semi-final win, Hodgkinson said she had switched roles with Josh Kerr, who succeeded Jake Wightman as 1500m world champion a year on, in acting as her inspiration as she had for him at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I remember two years ago, he said that watching me win my silver gave him motivation,” she said. “I think it is the other way round this year. Definitely watching him get the gold was very inspiring for all of us.

“It was almost like a déjà vu of last year just with blond hair. So, it was really nice to watch and I look forward to hopefully replicating the same thing.”

Hodgkinson came into these championships as arguably Britain’s best shot at a gold. Having won silver medals at Olympic, World and Commonwealth level, she is hopeful her runs in global finals will aid her cause on Sunday.

And she said she had her sights set on revenge on both Mu and Moraa, who have pipped her to the golds in recent championships.

She said: “It is not going to be easy because I know all of the girls want the same. I think you also cannot count anyone else that has made the final. It is not just us three. It’s good fun. I am relishing the competition. Hopefully fingers crossed.”

Earlier in the night, both British 4x100m relay teams, which were missing star turns Zharnel Hughes, Dina Asher-Smith and Darryl Neita, comfortably booked their places in Saturday night’s final.