End of the road for Athing Mu's Olympic title defense as track officials denied her appeal

End of the road for Athing Mu's Olympic title defense as track officials denied her appeal

Abigael Wafula 08:00 - 26.06.2024

Athing Mu will not defend her Olympic title after the USA track and field officials denied her appeal.

The track world has been thrown into a state of shock following after the USA track officials denied an appeal from defending Olympic champion Athing Mu who fell at the US trials and failed to make the cut to the top three finishers.

The world 800m silver medallist was opening her season at the Olympic trials after health issues delayed her season but her Olympic dream hit a snug after the unfortunate happenings.

She finished third in the heats of the race, clocking 2:01.73 to cross the finish line before winning the semifinal, clocking 1:58.84 to cross the finish line. However, the final of the race saw Mu stumble and she was forced to finish ninth clocking 2:19.69.

Despite the fall, track officials have denied her a chance to defend her title, a move that has irked the track world including her coach Bob Kersee.

As per the Sports Star, Kersee said the 22-year-old was tripped by another runner on the backstretch of the first lap, something that caused her to tumble to the ground. Kersee disclosed that the former world bronze medallist suffered scrapes from the fall and also hurt her ankle.

He also empathized with Mu following the ruthless ruling of the U.S. system, which only insisted on awarding Olympic slots to the top three finishers at the trials but does not make exceptions for past performances or Olympic champions. The 800m at the Olympics will have Nia Akins, Allie Wilson and Juliette Whittaker represent team USA.

“I’ve coached it, I’ve preached it, I’ve watched it. And here’s another indication that regardless of how good we are, we can leave some better athletes’ home than other countries have. It’s part of our American way,” Kersee said.

The American track and field officials reviewed footage of the race but eventually denied the appeal and they did not give details. Normally, protests are granted when there’s clear evidence of a runner obstructing another runner.

Mu will now only be eligible for the relay pool. She was part of the gold-medal team in the 4x400m at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.