Commonwealth Games: Keely Hodgkinson pipped to gold for third straight major championships

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Commonwealth Games was supposed to be the race when Keely Hodgkinson turned her raft of silver medals into gold.

Runner-up at the Olympics Games last summer and again last month at the World Championships over 800metres, in Birmingham the expectation – of hers and the 30,000 inside Alexander Stadium – was to take her place on the top step of the podium.

But instead of being edged out by Athing Mu as she was in both Tokyo and Eugene, this time Mary Moraa proved her nemesis in one of the most bizarrely run races of recent years.

The Kenyan set an electric opening lap, which included a second 200m of just 12.9seconds, that left her final rivals trailing in her wake.

Realising she had gone out nearly two or three seconds too fast, she slowed right down letting the entire field come past her as she approached the bell.

With Moraa looking completely spent, the race seemed like Hodgkinson’s and she duly took to the front and started her kick from 200m out.

But the Kenyan found a fresh lease of life to pass the 20-year-old on the home straight to win comfortably as the English athlete had to make do with second again.

Laura Muir sealed the bronze medal ahead of going in the 1500m final on Sunday in which she is the favourite for gold.

Hodgkinson described herself as “frustrated” by the result. She said: “I am not sure what happened. It went so quick, maybe I could have been more patient with myself. But I gave it all and unfortunately I came away with the silver… again.

“I am disappointed. There are positives but still no gold. I am still fuming until I am on top of that podium. It’s not to be. Hopefully another time.”

The 20-year-old has a third and final shot at gold over two laps of the track at the European Championships in Munich.

There was a redemption of sorts of Zharnel Hughes in the subsequent 200m. Four years ago on the Gold Coast, he had celebrated what he thought was gold only to be disqualified for impeding Jereem Richards.

Richards had gone into the race as comfortably the quickest in the field and won easily in a time of Games record 19.80 as Hughes, a one-time training partner of Usain Bolt, won silver in a season’s best of 20.12.

There were two English medals in the men’s pole vault as Adam Hague finished second and Harry Coppell third as Australia’s Kurtis Marschall,

And in the final race of the night, Elaine Thompson-Herah, like Richards, ran a Games record of 20.02s to complete the sprint double for Jamaica.