Friday, 1st September 2017
Hannah Kelly lined up in lane 6 of the Schools Games’ 200m at Loughborough against the best athletes from the South of England, Midlands, Scotland and Ireland – a disadvantage as main rival Kiah Dubarry-Gay, ranked one place ahead of her in the UK rankings, could track her around the bend from lane 2.
As ever, Hannah ran a fantastic bend and entered the straight level with nemesis Kiah, who has beaten her twice this year (at the Schools International in Dublin in July). This time however, a great transition into the straight allowed Hannah to pull away to win the gold medal in her second quickest time – 24.36 seconds.
Hannah then lined up on the first leg of the 4x100m relay – a perfect position for her as it fully utilised her natural bend-running ability. Handing over to Trinity Powell on second leg, the Northern team had a clear lead and by the time the fourth leg runner, national champion Amy Hunt, got the baton, she could relax and pull away from the field. The team of 16-year-olds not only smashed the meeting record with 45.98s, but clocked the eighth fastest British female relay time this year.
Coach Les Hall said, “This was Hannah’s last outdoor race in 2017 and she will now take a well-earned break before starting some hard winter training at the end of September. 2018 will see her move up to the U20s age group, which will be a massive challenge though one she is up for. The National Indoor Championships in early 2018 are a target before the outdoor season. If Hannah continues to improve and can move her PB into the 23-seconds range, she will no doubt get the opportunity to compete at the British Seniors’ Championships next year against the elite of national sprinting.”