A COUPLE of hours before the lights went out, Keely Hodgkinson brought smiles and cheers on her lap of honour of Leigh Sports Village on Friday night.

The Atherton athlete showed off the silver medal she won in the women’s 800m World Athletics Championships Final in Budapest.

Hodgkinson has added this silver to the one she won at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2021 and at both the World Championships and Commonwealth Games last year.

Leigh Journal: Keely Hodgkinson - lap of honour at LSV

She had run a near perfect race in the women’s 800m final as she went about an upgrade.

The 21-year-old stalked the leaders through the majority of the race - American world and Olympic champion Athing Mu and Commonwealth gold medallist Mary Moraa - before surging down the home straight.

Hodgkinson got the better of Mu, who was more than three years unbeaten in the distance, to secure at least a silver but just couldn’t edge past Moraa as the Brit took second in a time of 1:56.34 minutes, just 0.31 off gold.

She won’t have long to wait for another shot at a major global title with the Olympics in Paris less than a year away - and, despite a fourth silver in the space of just over two years, Hodgkinson retains full faith she will one day top the podium.

“To be consistently up with the best in the world is all I want from my career,” said Hodgkinson.

“[It is] another podium, another medal so that is definitely a positive but I did think I was going to come through on the inside. The line just came quicker than I thought it would.

Leigh Journal:

“I gave it my all, like I always do. I don’t think I put a foot wrong - I’ll have to go watch it back again - but consistency. Another silver - it’s not bronze, it’s not gold - we’re still on the podium.

“I do love it. I was really looking forward to today. I was really up for it. I really did believe I was going to win again - you’ve got to believe, that is half the battle.

"It is a different order to last year, who knows what order it will be next year. One of these days I will get the top spot, today was just not meant to be.”

Leigh Journal:

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