British Athletics Championships

Sunday, 18th February 2018

Bolton sprint star Hannah Kelly debuted at Senior British Championships this weekend after an amazing 2017, which had brought her an invitation to compete despite being only 17 years old.

The list of entrants for the 200m was enough to make anyone nervous – Olympic athletes, the European U23 champion alongside British champions, but Hannah took it all in her stride. One of the youngest athletes at the meeting, braving the TV camera pointed directly at her was the first challenge as she lined up in lane 6 for her heat.

Obviously nervous, she didn’t get her usual blistering start. However she accelerated hard off the first bend to hold her position. GB international hurdler Megan Beesley and Northern U20 champion Georgina Adam started to pull away but Hannah worked hard for third place in a time of 24.53s, just 0.03s outside her indoor PB, and secure a semi-final spot.

Coach Les Hall said, “Luck wasn’t on her side when she was drawn in lane 1 for the semi, but she just got on with it”. Quite often lane 1 is left empty as it is so tight to race in. It was always going to be a massive challenge for Hannah who is nearly 6 feet tall but she was up for it. Now accustomed to her surroundings, a much better start was made – her reaction time was over 0.1 seconds quicker than her heat. Working incredibly hard in the inside lane, she overtook Mair Edwards in lane 2 after 70 metres. She couldn’t quite reel in any of the other athletes and finished fifth in a time of 24.63 seconds.

This sets Hannah up nicely for next weekend’s EA U20 championships in Sheffield, where she will attempt to win another medal to add to her growing collection.

Results