Mary Moraa wins 800m gold for Kenya after flooring strong Mu and Hodgkinson

© Eric Baraza.

ATHLETICS Mary Moraa wins 800m gold for Kenya after flooring strong Mu and Hodgkinson

Joel Omotto 21:50 - 27.08.2023

Kisii Express added the world title to her collection after running a tactical race in Budapest to win Kenya the women's 800m gold for the first time since 2013

Mary Moraa ended Kenya’s 10-year wait for a World Championship gold medal in 800m when she ran a tactical race to floor defending champion Athing Mu of the United States in Sunday’s final in Budapest, Hungary on Sunday.

With a competitive field that included renowned Keely Hodgkinson, the silver medalllist from 2022, Mu, Habitam Alemu, and Halimah Nakaayi, Moraa knew she had to get her tactics right and did that just.

With Mu and Hodgkinson threatening to spoil her party, Moraa kept her composure and never allowed her rivals space to claim the world title, clocking a personal best 1:56.03 with the Briton managing 1:56.04 to take sliver while the American had to settle for bronze in a time of 1:56.61.

Having secured the world bronze medal at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon and claimed gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the world title was one of the big medals missing from her collection but she has now delivered it.

The absence of her compatriots Vivian Kiprotich and Naomi Korir, who fell off in the heats, did not affect her as she remained with the leading pack before sprinting off on the home straight.

As the Kenyan record holder for the 400m and the reigning 2022 Diamond League 800m champion, Moraa was poised to pursue the ultimate prize – the gold medal and delivered in style.

Now with a World Championship gold under her belt, the 2024 Olympics should be next for Moraa who has announced her rival to the global stage in style.

Kenya last won the world title in 800m in 2013 in Moscow, Russia  through Eunice Sum with Janeth Jepkosgei the other, having stunned Mozambique legend Maria Mutola at the 2007 Worlds in Osaka, Japan.