Keely Hodgkinson reveals that watching Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill’s 2012 triumph inspired her

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Keely Hodgkinson reveals that watching Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill’s 2012 triumph inspired her to return to athletics as a child.

  • Keely Hodgkinson is favorite to win 800m gold at Commonwealth Games
  • The 20-year-old revealed she briefly retired from athletics as a child
  • Hodgkinson was inspired to return to the sport after seeing Ennis-Hill’s triumph

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When people discuss the legacy of Super Saturday, they may not realize how it relates to the athlete who has been Britain’s best for a decade.

It’s necessary to think in those terms, because tonight, ten years and two days after that crowning moment of London 2012, one of the viewers, Keely Hodgkinson, hopes to win a gold of his own at a home Commonwealth Games.

That the Olympic and World 800-meter silver medalist is an athlete at all is largely due to what she saw of Jessica Ennis-Hill on that legendary night, with the inspiration of her heptathlon gold medal responsible for a 10-year-old Hodgkinson who goes back to a decision to retire from the sport. Now 20 and favorite to win a tough final of the 800m, Hodgkinson remembers the significance of that night to her own life.

Hodgkinson ran a 2:00.18 at Alexander Stadium to win her heat and qualify for the 800m final

Hodgkinson ran a 2:00.18 at Alexander Stadium to win her heat and qualify for the 800m final

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill's 2012 triumph inspired Hodgkinson to return to athletics

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill's 2012 triumph inspired Hodgkinson to return to athletics

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill’s 2012 triumph inspired Hodgkinson to return to athletics

“I did track and field for a while and then basically stopped,” she said. “But I came back after I saw Jess as the female star of the London Olympics – I loved her.

“It was remarkable to do what she did. She sent me a few messages for the Tokyo Olympics, I told her she was one of the reasons I went back.’

The result is a middle-distance runner with such talent that experts put no limit to what she could achieve.

Tonight on a decisive day there is a clear opportunity for some of Britain’s best track runners, including World Champion Jake Wightman in the 1500m, Laura Muir in the same 800m race and Zharnel Hughes in the 200m.

There won’t be Athing Mu, the American star who defeated Hodgkinson at the Olympics and World Championship in Eugene, but in addition to Muir, there’s Mary Moraa from Kenya, who won bronze in the US last month behind her.

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