Leeds Beckett University student crowned European Athletics champion
Keely, who is a first year student, secured her first senior European title after breaking the under 20’s 800m indoor world record last month. Her victory came just four days after her 19th birthday to become the youngest British winner of a European Indoor title for more than 50 years.
Keely crossed the line in 02:03.88 ahead of Poland’s Joanna Jozwik, securing her second major senior title, having won the national outdoor 800m event last year.
Keely is in her first year studying at the university and is supported by the Leeds Beckett England Athletics Talent Hub, a high-performance pathway for aspiring Olympians and Paralympians. A collaboration between British Athletics, England Athletics, Leeds Beckett University, London Marathon Events and the Talented Athlete and Scholarship Scheme.
The Talent Hub is led by international renowned coaches Dr Andi Drake, Andrew Henderson and Helen Clitheroe. The coaches, and their support staff, have been able to train high performance athletes during the lockdown in line with Government guidance.
Talent Hub Performance Coach Helen Clitheroe works with Keely alongside her coach Trevor Painter and mentor, former 800m runner, Jenny Meadows to coordinate her day to day training at Leeds Beckett University.
In an interview with the BBC, Keely said "They trust my instinct and have let me grow into my own athlete,”
“I've got Jenny's experience to tap into when I need it."
Talent Hub Manager Andi Drake said “Keely was impressive throughout her preliminary and final races in Poland, imposing herself with strong winning tactics and maintaining her technical form under fatigue”.
“We were celebrating her World Junior Record in January and while records are great, they don’t last. Keely’s record has since been improved by American Athing Mu in February. But Keely is now in the history books as the 2021 European Indoor Champion, a fantastic achievement.”
“Keely and her coach Trevor Painter will rightly celebrate this victory but will get back down to business to prepare for the Olympic Trials in June and completing the first year of her Criminology degree.”