Keely Hodgkinson bidding for her own glorious home sporting moment after watching Lionesses hero and school friend Ella Toone score at Wembley on Sunday as the Olympic and world silver medallist targets 800m glory at the Commonwealth Games 

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Keely Hodgkinson bidding for her own glorious home sporting moment after watching Lionesses hero and school friend Ella Toone score at Wembley on Sunday as the Olympic and world silver medallist targets 800m glory at the Commonwealth Games

  • Keely Hodgkinson and Ella Toone attended the same Greater Manchester school
  • The two women competed with and against each other at various sports
  • Runner is hoping for her own moment to emulate friend Toone on Saturday 

Keely Hodgkinson is eyeing her own gold medal moment this weekend - to emulate school friend Ella Toone.

The Olympic and world silver medallist attended Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley, Greater Manchester with Toone, who scored England’s opener in Sunday’s Euro 2022 final win over Germany at Wembley.

Hodgkinson was even known as ‘mini Ella’ in her younger years as she used to play football and run with the Manchester United and Lionesses forward.

Keely Hodgkinson (C, R) surged into Saturday's 800m final with an assured performance

Keely Hodgkinson (C, R) surged into Saturday's 800m final with an assured performance

Keely Hodgkinson (C, R) surged into Saturday's 800m final with an assured performance

The two women attended the same high school and competed in various events together

The two women attended the same high school and competed in various events together

But the 20-year-old is now hoping to win a major title in front of a home crowd herself, having sailed into Saturday’s Commonwealth Games 800metres final at the Alexander Stadium.

‘We were raised about four miles away from each other,’ explained Hodgkinson after winning her heat on Tuesday morning. ‘She was two years older than me at school but we just ended up getting on really well.

‘I was always referred to as the ‘mini Ella’ growing up. I played on one football team with her at school but was nowhere near as good. But we did some cross countries together and I always tended to beat her in those. That was my forte.

Hodgkinson has emerged as one of the UK's foremost middle distance runners and is bidding for Commonwealth Gold on Saturday

Hodgkinson has emerged as one of the UK's foremost middle distance runners and is bidding for Commonwealth Gold on Saturday

‘We kept in touch from that and we were both at the Tokyo Olympics last year. We are just two young girls living our dreams.

‘She did so well to score on Sunday. I know she’s on cloud nine. Now I hope I can come away with gold this time.’

Hodgkinson’s British team-mate Laura Muir, who is running for Scotland, is also straight into the 800m final, with the semis having been scrapped at short notice because of a lack of competitors.

The middle distance runner was disappointed to only come away with silver at last month's World Championships in Oregon

The middle distance runner was disappointed to only come away with silver at last month's World Championships in Oregon

Muir is going for a 800m and 1500m double and is looking to make up for her heartache in her home Games in Glasgow in 2014, when she was tripped towards the end of the 1500m final and finished 11th.

‘Being a medal contender then getting tripped in the last 100m was absolutely gutting,’ said Olympic 1500m bronze medallist Muir.

‘I think that’s still the most disheartening performance of my whole career so I want to put that right and what better way than do two events and give myself double the chances to get on that podium.’

Meanwhile, England star Katarina Johnson-Thompson leads the heptathlon after two events. She finished fifth in her hurdles heat with a disappointing time of 13.83 seconds, but topped the standings in the high jump with a season’s best 1.84m.

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