How Athing Mu's dream to defend Olympic 800m title took a tumble [WATCH]

How Athing Mu's dream to defend Olympic 800m title took a tumble [WATCH]

Festus Chuma 10:40 - 25.06.2024

Dreams of defending her Olympic title were shattered when Athing Mu tripped during the trials, drastically ending her 800m race ambitions.

Olympics 800m champion Athing Mu has lost the chance to defend her title in Paris after a dramatic fall at the US Olympic trials on June 24.

The incident left the reigning champion trailing home last in Eugene, Oregon shocking the crowd at Hayward Field.

The trials had largely gone according to expectations during the first three days.

However, Mu’s unexpected calamity in the women's 800m final left spectators and competitors stunned.

The 2022 world champion, and a favorite for the upcoming Olympics, tripped around the 200m mark.

Despite her valiant effort to continue, she had no chance of catching up to the rest of the field.

Racing on the outside in a tightly bunched pack, Mu appeared to be veering to her left toward Juliette Whitaker, the eventual third-place finisher, when she stumbled and went tumbling to the track.

This sudden fall disrupted the race, causing three runners behind her to jump over and around her.

The fall was a result of her characteristic long, loping stride that, while a significant advantage in her dominance, may have contributed to this unfortunate trip.

Mu quickly got back on her feet and finished the race, but the damage was done.

She crossed the finish line more than 22 seconds behind the winner, Nia Akins, who completed the race in 1 minute, 57.36 seconds.

Choking back tears, Mu swiftly exited the track and headed through the tunnel, visibly upset and avoiding post-race interviews.

Despite the fall, there is still a glimmer of hope for Mu’s Olympic journey.

She could potentially join the U.S. relay pool, where she played a crucial role in America’s gold-medal victory in the 4x400 relay three years ago in Tokyo.

Having achieved remarkable success by winning NCAA, national, world, and Olympic championships all before turning 21, Mu faced immense pressure and expectations.

Last year, she won a bronze medal at the world championships and subsequently admitted she needed a break from the intense scrutiny and demands.

In interviews leading up to the meet in Eugene, Mu expressed her renewed enthusiasm and readiness to defend her Olympic title.

However, her first competitive event since winning the Diamond League Trophy at the 2023 Prefontaine Classic did not go as planned.

Mu’s dominance in the 800m has been attributed to her powerful stride, but in this tightly-packed race, it may have cost her dearly.

The fall marks a significant setback, but her resilience and past successes suggest she could yet make an impact in Paris, possibly as part of the U.S. relay team.

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more updates.