Mary Moraa's conqueror reveals strategy she used to hand the Kenyan first loss of the season

Mary Moraa's conqueror reveals strategy she used to hand the Kenyan first loss of the season

Joel Omotto 13:20 - 26.05.2024

Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson stunned Kenya’s Mary Moraa at Prefontaine Classic and she has explained how she floored the world 800m champion in the final stretch of the race.

Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson has explained why she opted to stay behind during the women’s 800m race at the Prefontaine Classic before stunning world champion Mary Moraa.

Moraa looked on course to securing her third straight 800m win of the season, having led from the start, but with just over 200m to go, Hodgkinson sprinted past everyone and never looked back to the surprise of many.

She won the race in a world leading time of 1:55.78, with Moraa having to contend with second place in 1:56.71, a season’s best, while another Briton Reekie Jemma timed 1:57.45 to complete the podium.

“Today I was building confidence for the Olympics Games this year. I just have to come up against very good fields,” Hodgkinson told CITIUS MAG after the race.

The two-time world silver medallist then revealed why she decided to stay behind for most of the race when everyone else was jostling for a place in the leading pack.

“With our history of racing whenever she [Moraa] is ahead she is quite hard to get around. She is a really good racer but I could tell it was fast and I really did not want to go that fast. I just hanged back, trusted my speed at the end and I did a good job,” he added.

“I had scenarios of me taking on and someone else taking on which was going to be really fast. Everyone has been doing their own thing this year and with 800m, you have to think on your feet and just see what is going on in front of you and making a decision there so I just trusted myself today.”

The 22-year-old became the first woman to run under 1:56 this season and while she credits it to a good rest after sustaining a knee injury in November, she feels it is still meaningless at this time.

“It is a nice confidence booster but I did the same thing last year but the end of the day, it did not mean anything. It is nice to see that I am still in very good shape,” she said.

“I tore my knee during the winter which kept me out but it was good for me. I had a nice break, relaxed and watched everyone else and came back refreshed.”

Moraa had come into the race on the back of a win at the Kip Keino Classic in April before she claimed victory at the Doha Diamond League early this month but the loss is a wakeup call that her rivals are strategising how to beat her at the Olympics.

The two had epic battles last year with the Kenyan coming up on top in most races, including at the World Championships where she won gold.

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