Lord Sebastian Coe likes what he sees from Keely Hodgkinson

Lord Sebastian Coe likes what he sees from Keely Hodgkinson
Hodgkinson has claimed Team GB’s only athletics medal of the Olympics so far.

Lord Sebastian Coe believes Keely Hodgkinson must learn to handle the weight of expectation after her stunning silver.

Rising star Hodgkinson has won Team GB’s only track medal at the Tokyo Olympics so far after an impressive second place in a new British record in the 800m on Tuesday.

British champion Hodgkinson is unfunded, which underlines how quickly the 19-year-old has developed.

The Leeds Beckett University student broke Kelly Holmes’ 26-year-old record by running one minute 55.88 seconds and World Athletics president Coe feels she needs to get used to the spotlight quickly ahead of the next Games in Paris in 2024.

He said: “She looks at home in that environment and it is great. There is still an element of going in there without a great deal of expectation and she will now have to live with the fact that there will be an assumption next time round that she will walk away with the title in Paris.

Lord Sebastian Coe has been impressed by Keely Hodgkinson (Mike Egerton/PA)

“It is not quite that simple but you would have to say that she came here in peak condition.

“I thought she was pitch perfect. You have heard me say this before but the difference doing this out there and on a one-off occasion is like stepping up from non-league football to the England team. It is a massive, massive jump and she has made it.

“If she trains well and safely and does the right things she should be around for a long time.”

Hodgkinson has not hidden her desire to be the best in the world and is already eyeing going one better in Paris after finishing behind the USA’s Athing Mu.

I would definitely like to upgrade to a gold

Keely Hodgkinson

She said: “I would definitely like to upgrade to a gold. That would be obviously a lifelong dream, to be Olympic champion. That’s crazy. I was in that race to try and win it.

“Athing is a great athlete and hopefully we’ve got many years ahead and are challenging each other. She’s definitely raised the bar for all of us.

“Everyone appearing in that final was under 1:58.55. That’s mad. So it’s going to be an exciting 10 years ahead.”