Keely Hodgkinson happy as decision to switch to 400m bears fruit

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Olympic 800 metres silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson was delighted with her switch to the shorter 400m event at the UK Indoor Championships in Birmingham

Hodgkinson, who set a new British 800m record at the Indoor Grand Prix last weekend, decided to drop down to 400m to build up speed ahead of the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade next month.

After winning her semi-final in 52.45seconds to qualify for Sunday’s semi-final, Hodgkinson said: “At the bell I was fourth and I was like ‘oh no’. I haven’t got the first 200 metre speed that these girls have but my strength is later on in the race.

“We wanted 24 high in the first 200 but I’m happy with that after two races in one day.

“I’m not doubling up the 400 and the 800 in Belgrade, even though I have the qualifying time for both, and we’re using this to build my speed up for the 800 right now.

“These girls are fast and it’s good to get that competition. I’ve been trying to get up on the blocks and just focus on that first 200.”

Hannah Williams (52.58secs) and Jessie Knight (52.07secs) were the other semi-final winners.

Cheyanne Evans Gray (7.25secs) won the 60m title ahead of Alisha Rees (7.31secs).

Adelle Tracey took the women’s 1500m title in a time of four minutes 13.14 seconds, with Erin Wallace and Holly Archer finishing second and third.

Tracey said: “I have been British champion outdoors before but to step up in distance to do it indoors feels great.

“The world indoors wasn’t really a target for me, hence why I stepped up to the 1500m. I am in the middle of a big training block.”

Adam Thomas ran 6.56 seconds to win the men’s 60m, ahead of Andy Robertson (6.58) and Jeremiah Azu (6.61).

Thomas said: “I really didn’t think I had won at the end - it was really all on that last stride. To know I am going to Belgrade is beyond my wildest dream.”

Marc Scott won the 3000m in seven minutes 53.35 seconds to book his Belgrade place and Scott Lincoln (19.52m) the shot putt.

Lincoln said: “It was just a matter of getting the job done. I’ve got the European winter throws a week before and now it’s about fine tuning it, we don’t realistically need to be in the best shape - like in the US for example.

“Shot putting as a whole is incredible right now and one of the strongest events in the athletics calendar.”

Seun Okome won men’s triple jump gold with a personal best of 16.13 metres.

Okome said: “The distance means more to me than the medal and I’ve finally gone over 16 metres. People were saying I hadn’t gone over 16 metres and I’ve now done that.”

Kelechi Aguocha (2.13m) won the men’s high jump and Sophie Cook (4.45m) claimed the women’s pole vault title.

Zac Shaw (6.98secs) and Sophie Hahn (8.11secs) were winners in the para mixed ambulant 60 metres.