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Keely Hodgkinson aims to retain her European 800m title in Rome after injury as she looks to build momentum ahead of the Paris Olympics


Keely Hodgkinson is set to rule in Rome after revealing how a knee injury cost her more than two months of vital training this Olympic year.

The world and Olympic silver medalist is overwhelming favorite to retain her European 800m title on Wednesday night.

And Hodgkinson believes she will arrive at the Stadio Olimpico in her best form ever after bouncing back from a worrying winter setback.

«I didn’t run for nine whole weeks from November to January,» said the 22-year-old, who competes in the 800 meters on Monday morning. “I tore my ligament and tendon and a little bit of my hamstrings in the knee area.

“For the first two weeks I couldn’t even do any cardio because I couldn’t bend my knee. It was torture. It wasn’t ideal.

Keely Hodgkinson has set her sights on retaining her European 800m title in Rome this week

The Brit revealed how a knee injury cost her two months of training earlier this calendar year

The Brit revealed how a knee injury cost her two months of training earlier this calendar year

As I got closer to January, I was kind of going, “It’s okay, but it’s not okay. I’m not running yet.» But I had to be patient. Knees are a tricky business. If you get it wrong, you can be out for a long time.

“But it was a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to put together weeks in a row to build up my endurance, get stronger and get up to speed. I really feel like this year is maybe the best year I’ve ever been.»

Hodgkinson demonstrated her form and fitness a fortnight ago when she won the 800m at the Eugene Diamond League in 1min 55.78sec, the third fastest time of her career.

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Now she wants to put on a show at the Stadio Olimpico to set the mark ahead of the Paris Olympics in less than two months.

«When you’re fit and healthy, you can also take advantage of opportunities,» added Hodgkinson. “If I can defend my title it will be a great stepping stone.

“Going into the Europeans, I’ll always respect the competition, but I’m four seconds ahead of the next person. So how do you keep motivation high? I want to attack every race.

She won the Eugene Diamond League event two weeks ago and is aiming for Olympic success in Paris

She won the Eugene Diamond League event two weeks ago and is aiming for Olympic success in Paris

“I don’t want to be 1:55 here and 1:58 next week. I want to be as consistent as possible.

“I’m determined to perform really well and see what I can do out there. I haven’t let you down yet, have I?»



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