Mary Moraa's successful 2023: From making history at World Championships to being engaged

ATHLETICS Mary Moraa's successful 2023: From making history at World Championships to being engaged

Abigael Wafula 16:06 - 24.12.2023

Mary Moraa has enjoyed an exceptionally great year on and off the track and this article looks to sum up her 2023.

Mary Moraa, popularly known as Kisii Express, has enjoyed a blistering 2023 track and field season accompanied by other achievements off the track.

Moraa was beaten only once in the 800m and has stamped her authority as one of the best runners in the two-lap race. She started her indoor tour which did not go pretty well but her outdoor tour was nothing short of a success story.

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1) Victories

Moraa kicked off her season with an indoor tour, her first ever and she did pretty well in two of her races.

She finished fourth at the ORLEN Copernicus Cup and second at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais. She then finished eighth at the World Indoor Tour Madrid 2023.

Moraa then started off her outdoor tour at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix in the 400m race. After the Botswana show, Moraa proceeded to the Kip Keino Classic where she won the 800m race and later won the Diamond League Meeting in Rabat, Morocco.

The reigning world 800m champion then competed at the National Police Championships where she won the 400m race. She then competed at the National Championships, winning the 800m race, and then propelled the 4x400m team to victory too.

Moraa then won the Diamond League Meeting in Chorzów, Poland before jetting back to the country for the World Championships national trials where she won the 400m. She had already qualified for the 800m after winning the Diamond League Meeting trophy.

The highlight of her career was at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, where she became only the third Kenyan to win the women’s 800m in the global showpiece. This comes after Janeth Jepkosgei and Eunice Sum won the titles during the 2007 and 2013 editions.

2) Setbacks

Moraa’s first setback came when she was beaten to sixth place at the Diamond League Meeting in Monaco in the 400m. Another setback came during the True Athletes Classics 2023 when the 4x400m mixed relay team she was part of suffered disqualification.

Moraa ended her season with a fourth-place finish at the Prefontaine Classic, the Diamond League Meeting final at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

3) Off-track success

Moraa has also enjoyed a great 2023, off the track. After the Prefontaine Classic, Moraa jetted back into the country without knowing that her now fiancée, Richard Lagat, had great plans for her.

The Commonwealth Games champion landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, knowing that she would head home directly and have a rest.

However, Lagat surprised her, asking Moraa to marry him. Down on one knee, he went, holding a placard written, “Will You Marry Me?”

The 23-year-old said yes to the love of her life. According to Nation Sport, Moraa who had tears in her eyes said: “No words can express what I am feeling now. It’s a wonderful night.”

On top of that, Moraa was honoured by President Ruto with the Order of the Grand Warrior Award during the Jamhuri Day Celebrations. She was honoured due to her 2023 dominant exploits at the Diamond League Meetings and World Championships.

She posted on her Facebook page saying: “Thank you, your Excellency, President William Ruto, for conferring me with the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW) during the Jamhuri Day Celebrations. What a beautiful way to close the year. Happy 60th Independence Day lovely people.”