Teenage two-lap star rises to the occasion as Jemma Reekie, Jess Judd, Beth Dobbin and Tiffany Porter also qualify for Tokyo

The standout women’s track performance of day three of the Müller British Championships came from teenager Keely Hodgkinson as she won a loaded women’s 800m.

The race started promisingly with an electric opening 200m of 27.19, before it then became a jog over the next 200m ( covered in in 34.58) as Jemma Reekie was marginally ahead as she reached the bell in 61.77.

Laura Muir challenged her training partner along the backstraight and was driving hard through 600m in 1:30.64 – the third 200m covered in 28.87)  but Reekie and European Indoor champion Hodgkinson looked to be comfortably covering the European 1500m champion’s blazing pace.

In the straight, Reekie edged by Muir but Hodgkinson powered past the pair of them and won quite comfortably in 1:59.61. That time meant her last 400m was inside 57.84 and that, for three-quarters of the race she was operating around world record pace.

The local athlete was delighted to seal her selection. “I stayed calm and executed my race plan as I wanted,” she said. “The middle distances are crazy at the moment – there must be something in the water. It’s great for the sport and fun to be part of but also awful.

“I really wanted to stay in there as I couldn’t afford to give anyone a space, let alone a metre. I hadn’t realised that last lap was so fast but I am sure my coach will be pleased. Every athlete’s aim is to make the final and mine will be the same going into Tokyo but it will be a challenge with the calibre of the athletes.”

Reekie was also delighted to seal her first Olympic spot with second in 2:00.12 and while Muir is certain to get a 1500m place, the 800m is in the hands of the selectors as she finished third in 2:00.24 but well clear of Ellie Baker (2:01.47), Alex Bell (2:01.48) and Adelle Tracey (2:02.10), who all had Tokyo aspirations.

Another athlete who can relax tonight is Tiffany Porter, who easily won the 100m hurdles in a stadium record 12.78 into a 1.0m/sec headwind.

For once, the European Indoor bronze medallist got the better of her younger sister Cindy Sember, who had an off-day and only finished third in 13.20 behind Alicia Barrett’s season’s best of 13.18. Having shown world-class form all season, however, she is certain to get the selectors’ approval.

The 100m hurdles heats were won by Sember (13.16/-0.6), Porter (13.00/1.1) and Jenna Blundell (a PB 13.34/-0.1, which she improved to 13.22 in the final just behind Sember).

Porter, who won her sixth title, said: “I’m feeling confident and excited and grateful for this opportunity. It was a good race for me and I have been working on my technique.”

Jodie Williams wins the 200m. Picture: Mark Shearman

Newly-crowned 400m champion Jodie Williams, who had previously won this title in 2014 and 2019, took over from her sister Hannah as champion as she completed a stunning double meaning the Williams sisters have won it three years in a row. The stiff headwind of 2.9m/sec spoiled the times but Williams looked very strong as she won in a stadium record 23.02, with Beth Dobbin also confirming an Olympic spot alongside world champion Dina Asher-Smith, who will surely get the selectors’ third place.

The Scot finished fast as usual and ran 23.07, with Desiree Henry running a fine season’s best of 23.18 to deny another doubling athlete, Ama Pipi, who finished a close fourth in 23.19.

The heats were earlier won by Pipi (23.29/-0.7), Dobbin (23.22/0.2) and Williams (23.49/-0.9).

Williams said: “I’m at a stage in my career now where I’ve experienced the ups and downs of the sport. I’m a mature athlete in the sport now and I can’t be going into championships now thinking that I can’t win a medal. I’m feeling so confident and proving to myself that I can win again.

“It’s been my dream to be on a 4x400m relay team with my sister [Hannah]. We’re going to experience it and I can’t wait. She’s proved it to herself and it’s individual sport so we rarely share these moments. ”

The 5000m situation is more cloudier than the 200m.

European Indoor 3000m champion Amy Eloise Markovc, who had an unofficial qualifier with 15:05.96 but on a non recognised track set off close to 15:10.00 standard pace with kilometres of 3:04.45, 3:04.50, 3:07.09 and 3:07.10 which left her some way off the required pace.

Over the last few laps, Jess Judd came to life as she did in the Birmingham 10,000m and picked the pace up significantly. She completed a driving 61.66 last lap and 2:46.88 final kilometre to stop the clock at a frustrating 15:10.02. However,  with a top-two place and an earlier 15:06.02 it means the British 10.000m champion can double at Tokyo.

Post-race she said: “I am so tired now; that was the hardest I have worked for a while. I think at the 10 [10,000m] I was running just on euphoria but today I was so tired. The girls made it a really hard race.

“I have never made the Olympics before so to do it in two events is amazing. I will have to leave my dad (Judd’s coach) to sort out all the logistics. ”

Markovc finished strongly and though her time was 0.54 short of the required standard she did pass Verity Ockenden, who does have the time but here missed out on the automatic second spot. The absent Eilish McColgan and the injured Laura Weightman also have the time and will add to the selectors’ conundrum.

Charlotte Arter set a PB in fourth of 15:34.64.

Bethan Davies won the women’s 5000m walk by almost three minutes with a time of 22:47.85 from Abilgail Jennings on 25:39.68 and 18-year-old Hannah Hopper, who set a a PB 26:34.71.

A competitive 400m wheelchair race saw multi paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft just get by in the last few metres to win in 56.43 from Sammi Kinghorn’s 56.60. Melanie Woods (59.99) was third.

The mixed class 100 metres saw another paralympic great, Sophie Hahn, win in 12.77 despite a tough -2.1 headwind. Ali Smith (13.35) and Sophie Kamlish (13.47) completed the top three.

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