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Keely Hodgkinson runs 19 consecutive sub-two-minute 800m

British 800m star Keely Hodgkinson won gold at the European Indoor Championships on Sunday, defending the title she first won in 2021. On top of adding yet another medal to her resume, Hodgkinson extended an extremely impressive (but potentially overlooked) streak of now 19 straight sub-two-minute 800m races (not including heats). This is an incredible run of form and it has helped Hodgkinson win multiple titles and honors in her still-young career.

Going sub-two 

Running a sub-two-minute 800m is not an easy feat. In fact, only nine Canadian women have broken the two-minute barrier, which shows just how hard it is to do. Yet Hodgkinson has done that, race after race, dating back to June 2021. That was her breakout season, and seeing as it was an Olympic year, it couldn’t have come at a better time for her. 

At the start of that season in January, Hodgkinson broke two minutes for the first time, running 1:59.03 at an indoor meet in Austria. She didn’t break two minutes again during the indoor season, but she carried that momentum into her following races and won her first European title at the indoor championships. She then kicked off her outdoor season with a 1:58.89 result in Czechia, and over the next seven finals she raced in 2021, she only once failed to break two minutes. 

Later that year, Hodgkinson won silver at the Olympics, where she not only continued her then-new streak of sub-two performances, but also set a British record with her blazing 1:55.88 result in the finals. In 2022, her streak carried her to another silver medal, this time at the World Athletics Championships, and the outdoor European crown to match her indoor title from 2021. Hodgkinson has won every race she has run so far this year, with four sub-two results so far. 

A tough streak 

Hodgkinson’s streak is unprecedented in the 800m, and even the other all-time greats have failed to match her numbers. Athing Mu, the 20-year-old American who won gold ahead of Hodgkinson at the Olympics and World Athletics Championships, has only run four straight sub-two-minute results in her career. Granted, she’s young and still has plenty of time to add a longer streak to her resume, but Hodgkinson is young, too. 

American Ajee Wilson owns two world championship bronze medals in the 800m and won the Diamond League 800m title in 2019, but her longest streak of sub-two runs only reached 13. This is still a super impressive tally, but it’s still pretty far below Hodgkinson’s streak, which could grow even longer over the next few months. 

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya made it to 16 sub-two results in a row stretching from 2017 to 2019, but that’s where her streak ended (of course, Semenya may have been able to carry this streak on had she not been barred from racing the 800m). Finally, there’s the 800m world record holder, Jarmila Kratochvílová, who had a lifetime PB of 1:53.28. Even she couldn’t match Hodgkinson’s amazing streak, as her longest lasted for just 10 races.

Hodgkinson is truly a special talent, and she continues to prove that in every race she enters. It will be exciting to see her move forward with her career and to see how long she can keep her streak going before she runs north of two minutes once again. 

(03/07/2023) Views: 1,110 ⚡AMP

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