Keely Hodgkinson pulls out of World Indoors after quad injury recurrence
Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson has pulled out of the World Indoor Championships after an injury scare.
The 20-year-old, who won Olympic silver last year, was overwhelming favourite for the 800 metre title.
Hodgkinson warmed up at the Stark Arena but decided not to race in Belgrade following a recurrence of a quad injury picked up earlier in January.
She said: “I am in great shape so it is obviously a shame not to be competing here in Belgrade, but we decided to take this precautionary step in the best interests of the rest of the year ahead.
“I’m really pleased with my indoor season and it gives me a lot of confidence heading into the summer season which I am really looking forward to.
“Lastly, I would like to pass on my thanks to the medical team for their support and efforts to try and get me on the start line this week.”
She added to the BBC: “Luckily it’s not a major injury, it’s one to two weeks. I said to coach this morning if it was world outdoors ‘strap me up I’m running’. But I don’t want to have this problem to reoccur in the outdoor season.
“I made the right decision. I came here to get a gold medal, unfortunately I didn’t make the start line so it’s gutting.
“It was quite upsetting. I have never had to pull out of a race before. To come to a World Championships, my first Indoor World Championships as well, it’s not nice.
“My parents are here as well which is a little bit more upsetting but it’s about thinking about the bigger picture.”
Her withdrawal comes after Katarina Johnson-Thompson pulled out of the 800m, the final event of the pentathlon, on Friday.
The 29-year-old had returned for the first time since an injury ravaged 2021, where she recovered from a ruptured Achilles to make the Olympics, only to suffer a calf injury in the heptathlon’s 200m.
Meanwhile, Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs qualified for the 60m semi-finals in 6.53 seconds.
The USA’s Christian Coleman, who missed last year’s Games in Tokyo while he served a ban for breaching anti-doping whereabouts rules, is back and won his heat in 6.51secs.
Team-mate Marvin Bracy qualified fastest in 6.46s, while Great Britain’s Andrew Robertson made it through as a fastest loser.