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Teen Kelly Hodgkinson prepares for the Olympics following massive progress

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Rising star Kelly Hodgkinson admits she has yet to spend her tumultuous year preparing for the biggest races of her life.

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The 19-year-old’s feet barely touched the ground prior her Olympic debut on Friday.

Hodgkinson’s rise was so rapid that the runner was not included in the World Performance Program funding list in Countdown Games.

This year alone she became the first British woman to burst the under-20 world record for 36 years following running 1 minute 59.03 seconds in the indoor 800m race in Vienna.

She won the European gold in March, just four days following her 19th birthday, then left Gemma Rickey and Laura Muir behind to triumph the British 800m title final month.

Hodgkinson now runs the 800m on Friday and has gone from his faint hopes of making it to the Games to the spotlight in Tokyo in just seven months.

said the University of Leeds student Beckett, who is studying for a criminology degree in psychology.

“Indoors came and then went, and now it was outdoors and the Olympic trials came in lovely quickly so I didn’t have time to sit and think about it. I’m just looking for the next thing. When the season is over, I can look back.

British SPAR Indoor Athletics Championships&# x002013;  second day&# x002013;  Emirati's staduim

Hodgkinson won the British indoor 800m title in 2020 (Ian Rutherford/PA)

“It’s a pleasing way to forever preserve you ready and looking. I think that as an athlete you are forever on the lookout for the next challenge.

Once I check one box, it’s ‘Okay, what’s the next thing I can do? So it definitely helped preserve me focused, getting here and hopefully doing well.

“I don’t think[getting to the Olympics]was part of the original plan. We looked back a year ago and I think we thought, ‘Yeah, maybe I can get time and maybe I can sneak into the team.’”

“I wasn’t expecting what happened this year, it was definitely fun. I hope I can preserve up with it, I’m looking forward to the games and trying to be as competitive as I was in Europe.”

Hodgkinson is 11th in the world rankings this year and is coached by Jenny Meadows, who won bronze at the 2009 World Championships.

She was only 10 years old when London 2012 inspired a generation and wanted to succeed in the footsteps of some of the British greats.

She said: “I was on vacation in Marbella watching the games. My first memory of the track is Jessica Ennis winning the heptathlon, which is really exceptional.

“That whole distinguished Saturday was really cool to watch. These are definitely inspiring days to look back and hopefully we can get more medals like we did back then.”


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