In pursuit of her first global medal

Missing the likes of Keely Hodgkinson, Mary Moraa and Athing Mu has allowed Great Britain’s Jemma Reekie to chase a global medal. She is taking good advantage of it at the 2024 Glasgow World Athletics Championships in her hometown.

Reekie’s pursuit of her first senior international title was given another boost on Saturday. She cruised into the semi-final of the women’s 800-metre event on the second morning of the World Athletics Indoor Championships.

Reekie’s indoor season has been slowly building towards a shot at her first major championship title and it is now well within distance after she won the second of the 800m semi-finals in very comfortable fashion in the time of 1:58.28.

This is the quickest from the semi-finals and just 0.04 seconds shy of the mark Reekie posted to win the British title last month and become the second-fastest in the world this year. The final now awaits in the closing session on Sunday.

“It was perfect planning. I am in really good shape, and although I knew it was going to be really tough, I wanted them to know that if they are coming to win on my track, they are going to have to work hard. We have taken each race as it comes. I’ll sit down with Jon [Bigg] and Sally [Gunnell] and work it out together. I think it’ll be a fast one.”

Reekie owns an indoor best of 1:57.91 from the same track back in 2020. The 25-year-old Glasgow native finished in fourth position during the 2020 (2021) Tokyo Olympic Games. In last summer’s Budapest World Athletics Championships, she finished fifth. As it has often been said, once a bridesmaid; never a bride, but alas, she intends to dispel the phrase. She was also fifth at the Munich European Championships, fifth at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022 and missed the final of the Eugene World Athletics Championships in 2022 — this is her time.

The competition

Ethiopia’s Tsige Duguma won Heat 1 on Day 2 in the time of 1:58.35, which is a new personal best. Taking second was Noélie Yarigo in 1:59.45, while Kenyan Vivian Chebet Kiprotich clocked 1:59.65 PB for third. Lore Hoffman from Switzerland set a new national record while finishing fourth. She recorded a 2:00.06 finish.

In Reekie’s Heat 2, taking second place was Ethiopian Habitam Alemu in 1:58.59. Taking third was Halimah Nakaayi with a 1:58.91 performance.

The top three from both races qualify for the final on Sunday. All six ran the semi-finals in under two minutes. Missing out on the final are Hoffman, by one position, and Catriona Bissett from Australia who clocked 2:00.13. Surprisingly Natoya Goule-Toppin, the Jamaican record holder, clocked a 2:01.41 to finish last. She has been a perpetual finals finisher and has medalled at the Commonwealth Games and owns a personal best of 1:58.46 indoors and 1:55.96 outdoors.


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