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Keely Hodgkinson defends European Indoor Championships 800m title in style

Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson defended her European Indoor Championships 800m title in style as she ran away from the field to take gold.

The 21-year-old eased to victory in Istanbul with a run of one minute and 58.66 seconds, more than a second outside the British record she set in Birmingham last weekend, to win by a distance.

Slovenia’s Anita Horvat finished a distant second with Agnes Raharolahy of France claiming bronze.

Hodgkinson’s win was not unexpected – she went into the final with a season’s best more than three seconds quicker than any of her rivals.

“I’ve not had time to process it,” she said. “This one is definitely for him. He had a lot of belief in 10-year-old me.

“I hope to make him really proud and I know he will be up there watching, along with his wife at home who I know will be so proud of me as well.”

While Britain’s world 1500m champion Jake Wightman was impressed by Hodgkinson’s composure.

“The professionalism she has shown between every round, to keep that emotion bottled up, celebrating her birthday in between, there must have been so many emotions going through her head throughout these championships,” Wightman told BBC Sport.

“To be a good as she was in that final, to be so dominant, shows how good an athlete a professional Keely really is.”

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