Iceland's rising star is a record breaker

Hinriksdottir is a record breaker
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Annita Hinriksdottir who turned 18 at the start of the week, won the 800m at the Reykjavik International Games in 2:01.81 breaking Gabriela Sedlakova's 27-year-old European Junior Indoor record of 2:01:85.

Twenty-seven years ago, at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Indianapolis, the woman second in the 800m final ran her way into history. In 2:01.85, Gabriela Sedlakova, then competing for Czechoslovakia, broke the European Junior indoor record.

But the mark that had stood the test of time is now in the hands of one of the top young talents in athletics.

If 2013 was a year to remember for Iceland’s Anita Hinriksdottir, the new year has started how the old one ended - with plaudits.

Hinriksdottir, who was 18 at the start of last week, ensured the celebrations went on until the weekend where, at the Reykjavik International Games, she won the 800m in 2:01.81.

Gone was Sedlakova’s record and here was confirmation that an athlete who came to the fore in an amazing period of success last year is ready to use that glory to build towards even greater achievements.

When Hinriksdottir won the 800m at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk in July, it was the first time that Iceland had achieved gold at a global athletics meeting. A week later there was another landmark moment for her country when she triumphed again with victory in the 800m at the European Athletics Junior Championships in Rieti - Iceland's first gold medal at these championships.

They were successes which led to her winning the female Rising Star title at the European Athlete of the Year awards in October.

But now comes the difficult bit, showing that she is not a one-season wonder, and she has already made quite a start to this next part of her career.

Under greater scrutiny and arguably with greater pressure because she is better known to her rivals, Hinriksdottir has stepped up a level in style.

Reaching 400m in 60.98 and 600m in 1:31.06, her 800m victory in Reykjavik was also a national senior record and showed she could be one of the track and field stars of the year - again.

There were only three runners in the race but Hinriksdottir was in control as she beat Ireland's Ann Galligan, who was second in 2:03.69, and Aline Krebs, of Germany, who was third in 2:06.24.

Even at this early stage of the year, she could progress over the next six months to contend for a medal at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich 12-17 August, though it is most likely that her main target for the summer will be the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene at the end of July.

It would still give her enough time to prepare for Zurich, while her start to the winter season could see her try to make an impression in Sopot in March at the IAAF World Indoor Championships.

A more immediate target could be the World Junior Indoor record of 2:01.03 which Meskerem Legesse, of Ethiopia, set a decade ago.

Exciting times lie ahead for Hinriksdottir, and we look forward to following her progress.