WITH Olympic silver and European indoor gold corralled in a 2021 that brought her the most astonishing of breakthrough campaigns, Keely Hodgkinson’s trajectory remains fascinatingly upward. Uncomfortable news for her domestic rivals, including Jemma Reekie whose British women’s indoor 800 metres record was surpassed at yesterday’s Muller Grand Prix in Birmingham in quite the early statement of intent for this still-new athletics campaign.

Still only 19, Wigan’s young warrior time of 1:57.20 was quicker than any run since the year prior to her birth. Reekie, watching on following an earlier run she might rather forget, will have no doubt of the road block in her path at this summer’s world championships before even factoring in Tokyo 2020 victor Athing Mu.

With further potential showdowns for the two Brits at the subsequent Commonwealth Games and Europeans, Hodgkinson makes no secret of the high bars now eyeballed.

"I wrote down the aims for this year and one of them was a British indoor record,” she revealed. "I was 100 per cent in shape for this record and I just wanted to go for it and there were some good girls in that race.”

She is one of the few stellar British names confirmed for next month’s world indoors in Belgrade and it is hard to see any title pursuit falling short. That would be a mere appetiser, she trusts. “I think all four of the major championships is possible,” the teen warned. “My body I think will be able to cope. But it comes down to the emotional and mental energy going from one to another."

Reekie’s gambit combusted in the 1000m, regressing badly on the last lap from a healthy lead to sixth place as Isabelle Boffey led a mass charge past. “I'll have to sit down and see what happened,” acknowledged the Scot, who hinted at an injury “hiccup” following her recent training stint in South Africa. “I felt good front-running because I'm in good shape. That wasn't an accurate representation of where I am but some days you've got to learn.”

Words repeated, almost verbatim, by Neil Gourley whose promised assault on Peter Elliot’s long-standing UK indoor 1500m record more resembled a wild swing badly missed. The Glaswegian, arriving fresh from a brilliant outing in Boston last weekend, was eleventh but ahead of Jake Wightman who failed to finish in the wake of a bout of Covid.

Gourley will aim to recapture his magic for next weekend’s British Indoor Championships, back at the same venue. “The championships are what I kind of thrive on,” he proclaimed. “All I can really do at the moment is forget about it.”

Elsewhere, a brush of the vest thwarted Sweden’s Olympic champion Mondo Duplantis on his third attempt at raising his pole vault world record to 6.19m. Erin Wallace came fourth in the women’s 1500m in a world indoor standard of 4:08.90. While Guy Learmonth was fourth in the men’s 800m in 1:46.46 as he leapfrogged Brian Whittle into second place on the all-time Scottish rankings.