Anita Horvat won silver in the women’s 800 metres event at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul on 5 March for Slovenia’s second medal at the competition.
Horvat clocked two minutes and 0.54 seconds to finish only behind the defending champion Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain, who secured gold with a run of one minute and 58.66 seconds. France’s Lorea Ibarzabal won bronze with 2:00.85.
“I’m super happy and proud to have made it. I knew each of the eight finalists wanted a medal as much as I did,” Horvat 26, said after achieving her career best.
“I was in the fifth, outer lane and I knew I had control of the start of the race even though rivals tried to shut me out. I secured a good position at the beginning, I fought as hard as I could. I followed Hodgkinson, who was too strong this time. But it wasn’t until I crossed the finish line that I knew I won silver,” said Horvat.
Hodgkinson, the Olympic and world silver medallist, was in the lead from start to finish. Except for some difficulties right at the start, Horvat kept up right behind her through all the laps.
She won both her qualifying group and her semi-final heat. Holding the European season’s third best time, Horvat had been a favourite for a medal.
Horvat was the last of the 12 Slovenian athletes to appear at the championships. Her teammate Tina Šutej won silver in the pole vault on 4 March.
Team Slovenia thus met the goal they aimed for heading into the championships. They hoped to win two medals and two spots among the top eight.
Neja Filipič placed 5th in the women’s triple jump and Maruša Mišmaš Zrimšek finished 8th in the women’s 3000 metres.