Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain in the Women's 800m at the World Athletics Championships 2022

ISTANBUL (March 4) – Keely Hodgkinson, the British middle-distance runner and Olympic silver medalist, progressed smoothly to Sunday’s women’s 800m final at the 2023 European Indoor Championships after winning her semi-final heat in 2:00.05 on Saturday at the Atakoy Arena in Istanbul. Read more: Jakob Ingebrigtsen retains European Indoor 1500m title

Hodgkinson, who is seeking to defend her title from 2021, posted a comfortable time of 2:00.05 in her semi-final heat, cementing her status as the favorite for gold in the final on Sunday.

The 21-year-old has been in scintillating form coming into the championship, registering three sub-1:58.00 performances, including the world lead and British national record of 1:57.18, which she set last month in Birmingham, UK.

Hodgkinson won heat one of the semi-finals with the fastest time, finishing ahead of Audrey Werro of Switzerland and Spain’s Lorea Ibarzabal, who came in second and third with times of 2:01.19 and 2:01.25 respectively.

In the second semi-final, Anita Horvat, the 2022 World Championships finalist, triumphed with a time of 2:03.11, but her time was slower than the top six finishers in the first semi-final. Read Also: Laura Muir wins 3rd European Indoor 1500m title

Germany’s Majtie Kolberg, who finished fifth in a competitive semi-final one, also secured her place in the final after running a personal best of 2:01.49,

Meanwhile, Slovakia’s Gabriela Gajanova, who set a national record of 2:01.70 and was the sixth-fastest overall across the two semis, failed to make the cut.

Isabelle Boffey, the British champion, failed to progress to the final after finishing in 2:03.94.

Hodgkinson will be looking to add another major title to her collection, having won the European Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, in 2021, as well as the gold medal at the European outdoorchampionships and silver medals at the Tokyo Olympics and World Athletics Championships.

All eyes will certainly be on Keely Hodgkinson on Sunday as she seeks to defend her title and potentially set another British record.

Can she pull off another stellar performance and add to her impressive list of achievements?

The answer awaits us on the final day of the championship.

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