World bronze medalist Ajee Wilson, running in a mixed 800m race, which included men and women, clocked a season’s best time of 1:57.85 at the Penn Relays Summer Series in Philadelphia, on July 18, to continue her preparations for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.
The American who will travel with Team USA to the delayed Games later this month, is slowly returning to top form, and seems to be doing so at the right time after she improved on her previous seasonal best of 1:58.39, done when finishing third at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials last month.
Wilson, the 11-time USA champion, won back-to-back bronze medals at the world championships, following podium finishes at the 2017 and 2019 championships, but was disappointed with her performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The 27-year-old was unable to advance from the semi-final stages of the women’s 800m in Rio after she ran 1:59.75 for third place in her heat.
However, on the evidence of her performances since the 2016 campaign, which has seen her posting seven of her top times, it is without a doubt that Wilson will head to Tokyo better conditioned to take on the world’s best.
Her teammate and 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials winner Athing Mu heads into the Olympic Games as the world leader with a time of 1:56.07 and will start as the favorite to win the gold medal.
However, Cuban Rose M. Almanza, the 2019 Pan American Games silver medalist, is another athlete who should seriously be considered as a gold medal contender, along with Jamaican champion Natoya Goule, who will be hoping to bounce back from her failure to advance from the heats when she ran 2:00.49 at the 2016 Rio Games.
Goule, the Pan American Games champion in 2019, finished sixth at the world championships in Doha in 2019.
World champion Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda is also rounding into good shape ahead of Tokyo, after running a personal best and national record of 1:58.03 in her last outing, despite finishing seventh at the Monaco Diamond League meeting.
Meanwhile, with Lura Muir opting to run just the 1500m at the Games, Jemma Reekie who clocked a lifetime best of 1:56.96 to finish behind her compatriot in Monaco will be the top British athlete in the women’s 800m, along with teenage sensation Keely Hodgkinson who has personal best of 1:57.51.