GB's Keely Hodgkinson wins silver in Tokyo 2020 Olympics 800m race and breaks Kelly Holmes' record

Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson celebrates after the women's 800m final Credit: PA

Keely Hodgkinson has broken Kelly Holmes' long-standing national record to win the Olympic silver medal in the women’s 800 metres race.

The 19-year-old finished behind the USA's Athing Mu, finishing in one minute 55.88 seconds to beat Holmes' record set in 1995.

Hodgkinson's blistering pace makes her the eighth fastest woman over 800m of all time - and she's also claimed Team GB's first medal on the track at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Hodgkinson is not on funding but knows her heroics in Japan will thrust her into the big time.

"I’m ready, that’s what I’ve dreamed of. I want to do this.

"I want to be one of the best in the world. I’m going to do everything I can to be that," said Hodgkinson, after winning Team GB’s first athletics medal of the Games.

Keely Hodgkinson, left, of Britain, reacts after her second place finish as teammate Jemma Reekie, embraces her Credit: AP/Petr David Josek

Hodgkinson said: "I’m just going to keep on doing what I’m doing. Don’t fix something if it’s not broken. What I’ve been doing the last year has got me to this point."

She added: "I’m going to carry on doing it. If you don’t enjoy it everything becomes pressurised and hard work. As long as I keep doing what I’m doing and stay injury free, hopefully there will be many more moments like this.

"In the past two years the support around me has brought me on, kept me relaxed and I have taken every aspect of this experience with me.

"I just wanted to go on this track and execute. This is what I want to do, be one of the best in the world."

She added: "I am speechless right now. Kelly is a massive legend of the sport and always be with that double Olympic gold.

"She seems so lovely and has been sending me messages the last few days being very supportive. I am quite in shock about that time, but I couldn’t be happier."

Hodgkinson will also treat herself to a rare night out to celebrate.

"You’ll catch me in the club. One guilt-free night out before I finish the season," she said.

Raevyn Roger, from the US, overtook Britain's Jemma Reekie in the last push for the finish line and claimed third place, while Reekie settled for fourth.

Reekie still claimed a personal best of one minute 56.90 seconds. Roger beat her by just 0.09 seconds.

Alex Bell, who also represented Team GB in the 800m final, also claimed a personal best and came seventh with a time of 1.57.66 minutes.

Reekie said: "I wanted to win, but sometimes you have to learn. Paris isn’t too far away.

"I wanted to do better. I am going to be hard on myself because I wanted to win but I think I’ll look back in two years’ time and realise how well I’ve done."

US' Athing Mu wins the gold medal ahead of GB's Keely Hodgkinson and Raevyn Rogers, of United States Credit: AP/Charlie Riedel

Bell said: “I’m glad that I’ve got a PB out of it, I was just so focused on not coming last!

“I wasn’t even bothered about the time during the race. But that’s just racing, when you’re focused on the race the times just follow.”

Hodgkinson, a criminology student at Leeds Beckett University, has been largely unknown until now.

Great Britain’s Alexandra Bell ahead of the Women’s 800m Final Credit: PA

In January, she ran 1:59.03 in an 800m race in Vienna to become the fastest woman under 20 at the distance indoors.

A month later, she became the youngest British European Indoor champion for over 50 years after winning the 800m in Torun.

Coach Jenny Meadows, who won a world bronze in 2009, tweeted a picture of a relaxed Hodgkinson curling her eyelashes ahead of the race.

Hodgkinson is not funded by British Athletics as it did not add any more athletes into the World Class Performance Programme in 2020 due to the pandemic.

She is instead supported by Barrie Wells, a millionaire businessman who has helped fund athletes in the past, including Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson for the London 2012 Olympics.

Wells had promised Hodgkinson the chance to drive an Aston Martin if she made the final.

Team GB have claimed eight more medals at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday - with two golds in sailing.

In sailing, Giles Scott took the overall win in the men’s Finn class, shortly after Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell claimed gold in the men’s 49er at the Tokyo Olympics.

Great Britain's Jack Laugher during the Men's 3m Springboard Final. Credit: PA

And Great Britain’s John Gimson and Anna Burnet won the silver medal in the mixed Nacra 17 class.

Meanwhile, GB won two silver medals in track cycling - in the women's team pursuit and men's team sprint.

Boxer Pat McCormack also won the silver medal after losing his welterweight final against Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias.

Earlier in the morning, Great Britain’s Jack Laugher won the bronze in the men’s 3m springboard.