Tokyo Olympics: GB trio Jemma Reekie, Keely Hodgkinson and Alex Bell qualify for 800m final

The British camp is quietly confident of a medal in a wide-open event

Lawrence Ostlere
Saturday 31 July 2021 13:43
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<p>Jemma Reekie in action in the women’s 800m semi-final</p>

Jemma Reekie in action in the women’s 800m semi-final

Britain will have a major opportunity to medal in the women’s 800m final after impressive semi-final performances by Jemma Reekie, Keely Hodgkinson and Alex Bell saw all three advance.

Reekie finished second in her race, clocking a time of 1 min 59.77 sec to finish just behind Natoya Goule, Jamaica’s Pan-American champion.

“It was a really good race and I think I executed it well,” Reekie said. “I listened to my coach and yeah I’m really pleased with it and I’m excited looking ahead to the final.

“I’m feeling really confident but the confidence has come from the training I’ve just done the past few weeks at our holding camp. I know I’m in amazing shape but it’s an Olympic final and I’ve got to race it smart even though I’m in good shape. I’m not under-23s anymore and I can’t afford to make mistakes, so I’ll just go out there and do my best on the day and hopefully I’ll come away with a medal.

“I’ve definitely got big dreams. I stand on the start line every day to try and win it and I’ll go out and do the same again, and if I come away with a medal I’ll be really happy.”

The teenager Hodgkinson also advanced as the winner of her semi-final, beating Chunyu Wang of China in a photo finish after a late surge. An explosive nine months has seen the Wigan-born teenager win the British 800m title and European Indoor gold and a glistening career awaits; it could take lift-off in the next few days.

Bell made it through as one of the fastest third-place finishers, in a fast race won by the 19-year-old American favourite Athing Mu.

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