During the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul on Thursday, defending champion Keely Hodgkinson breezed into the 800m semi-finals to give herself the ideal birthday present.
The British athlete, whom last year won the title of European 800m outdoor champion and this winter lowered the nation’s 800m indoor record to 1:57.18, turns 21 on Friday.
She told the BBC about the weekend final, “If I can defend my title, it will be a lovely birthday present to me.” “I’m excited about it and I hope I can make everyone proud,” the speaker said.
Hodgkinson’s time in her heat on Thursday was 2:01.67. The final is scheduled for Sunday after the semi-finals on Saturday.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen begins his attempt at a 1500m/3000m double later on Friday.
Jake Wightman beat Ingebrigtsen to the outdoor world 1500m gold in Eugene last year, but now that the Briton is healthy again, the Norwegian is the overwhelming favorite for both gold medals in Istanbul.
The 1500m first round closes Thursday’s competition, with the final taking place on Friday. Sunday night is the scheduled time for the 3000m final.