Mary Moraa explains why she had to win the 800m at the World Championships

ATHLETICS Mary Moraa explains why she had to win the 800m at the World Championships

Abigael Wafula 09:19 - 15.10.2023

Reigning World champion Mary Moraa has come out to explain why she had no option but to win the 800m race at the World Championships.

Reigning world 800m champion Mary Moraa has come out to share why she had to win the race at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Speaking to World Athletics, the 23-year-old explained that the cameras were all over her before the race even started and she felt a lot of pressure to deliver.

Moraa noted that she decided to change her mindset and believe that she could win since the cameras kept following her. She was aware of the strong field that included the defending champion Athing Mu and Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson.

“I did not expect it, I had so much pressure. There was a lot of tension and questions on whether I could win the 800m because we did not start the season well, but our peak target was the World Championships. I had told my coach, that whichever medal I won – bronze, silver, or gold – I would be thankful," she said.

"In the call room, the cameras were all over my face. When I moved, the camera moved with me. I was tense. I asked myself: ‘Why can’t they just focus on Athing Mu? She is the reigning world and Olympic champion.

"Ah, are the cameras following me because they think I can be a champion, too? The cameras are on me because I am also a champion,” she explained.

Moraa was the eventual winner of the race, clocking a Personal Best time of 1:56.03. Hodgkinson followed closely, finishing second as Mu, the American completed the podium.

On his part, Moraa’s coach Alex Sang, was also in awe of the victory since he did not expect Moraa to win as she was competing against a quality field.

He said: “I could not even imagine because the field (at the World Championships) had two very strong ladies, Keely Hodgkinson and Athing Mu, who won last year. But also, we had a better time this season. I really enjoyed the win, I was so happy.”