In front of a 30,000 strong crowd at the newly refurbished Alexander Stadium, Team England picked up a host of medals at Birmingham 2022.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson, despite recent injury woes, successfully defended her Commonwealth Games Heptathlon. A season’s best of 6377pts was enough to give Johnson-Thompson the title with team-mate Jade O’Dowda finishing third (6212 pts). Nick Miller also successfully defended his title from the Gold Coast in the Men’s Hammer, a fourth-round throw of 76.43m was enough to earn the 29-year-old another gold medal.
In an extensive para-athletics programme, seven-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockcroft OBE won her first Commonwealth Games title in the T33/34 100m as part of an English 1-2-3. It was the only gold missing from her collection and will now nestle alongside her World and Paralympic titles. Cockcroft set a new Games record (16.84s) ahead of Karé Adenegan and Fabienne André while there were also golds for Nathan Maguire (T53/54 1500m) and Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker (T45-47 100m). Elsewhere on the track, there were silver medals for Keely Hodgkinson in the Women’s 800m, Zharnel Hughes in the 200m and Adam Hague in the Pole Vault. Earlier in the Games, Johnboy Smith took gold in the Wheelchair Marathon with team-mate Simon Lawson claiming bronze while in the women’s event Eden Rainbow-Cooper earned silver.
When it came to the final day of action, the relays were the hot talking point of the day. England’s 4x100m Men’s team of Ojie Edoburun, Jona Efoloko, Zharnel Hughes and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake successfully defended the title from the Gold Coast while the women’s quartet of Asha Phillip, Daryll Neita, Imani Lansiquot and Bianca Williams came away with the silver. There was also silverware in the Women’s 400m with Victoria Ohuruogu taking silver and Jodie Williams bronze. Team England topped the table in the para events with four gold, five silver and four bronze medals.
Kelly is a three-time Olympic Medallist, World and European medallist and Commonwealth Champion at Heptathlon and 4x400m. She was an elite athlete for over 10 years and retired shortly before the London 2012 due to a severe back injury.
Since her retirement, Kelly has worked in various media outlets covering sport and topical issues. Kelly coached in Track & Field for eight years and has been involved in u18, u20, u23 & Senior Championship level as team coach and leader. Having been a Team Coach for Athletics in Gold Coast 2018, she now leads Athletics in her Home City of Birmingham for 2022.
Kelly is passionate about athlete welfare and fair processes and founded the British Athletics Athletes Commission in 2017. Kelly sits on the World Athletics Gender Leadership Taskforce and is a Non-Executive member of British Weightlifting.