Tokyo Olympics: Jemma Reekie feels no extra pressure to deliver track success for Team GB

The 23-year-old reached the 800m final along with teammates Keely Hodgkinson and Alex Bell

Nick Mashiter
Sunday 01 August 2021 10:39
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Dina Asher-Smith: Tearful Team GB sprint star pulls out of Olympic 200m with hamstring injury

Jemma Reekie dismissed any extra pressure as the spotlight turned on her to deliver for Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 23-year-old reached Tuesday’s 800m final along with Great Britain team-mates Keely Hodgkinson and Alex Bell.

Team GB’s chances at the Olympic Stadium suffered a damaging blow after Dina Asher-Smith pulled out of the 200m and revealed she suffered a serious hamstring injury last month.

She failed to reach the 100m final – won by Elaine Thompson-Herah in 10.61 seconds on Saturday – and broke down in tears as she explained she nearly did not make it to Tokyo.

Asher-Smith was expected to challenge for both the 100m and 200m but Reekie insisted there is still no more weight on her to claim a maiden senior medal and help salvage British hopes on the track.

She said: “I don’t feel pressure from anyone else, I put a lot of pressure on myself and I expect a lot from myself. I’m quite hard on myself, I just want to do well. I don’t feel pressure from elsewhere.

“I was watching every sport and every time someone gets a medal, no matter the sport, it lifts all the athletes.

Dina Asher-Smith was hampered by injury (Mike Egerton/PA)

“British 800m running is amazing right now and I’m so excited looking ahead. I definitely think the British girls can do well in the final.

“I stand on the start line to try to win it and I’ll do the same again. If I come away with a medal I’ll be really happy.”

Reekie came second in her semi-final in one minute 59.77 seconds with Hodgkinson winning her semi-final while Bell finished third in her semi but still qualified faster than her team-mates in 1.58.83 minutes.

“It was a really good race, I executed it well, listened to my coach and I’m looking forward to the final,” said Reekie.

“I’m really confident and that’s come from the training I’ve done in the last few weeks in the holding camp. I know I’m in amazing shape but it’s an Olympic final, I’ve got to race it smart.

“I’m not under-23s any more, I can’t afford to make mistakes. I’ll just do my best and hopefully come away with a medal.”

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