NASHVILLE (June 3) – World and Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu is gearing up to kick off her highly anticipated season in a 1500m race at the 2023 Music City Track Carnival. The event, classified as a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver competition, will take place at Vanderbilt University on Saturday, June 3.
Mu, now in her second season as a professional athlete, has strategically delayed her season debut to focus on her preparations. However, the time has come for her to make her first appearance of the campaign, and it looks as though her coaching staff has opted for a rare event. – Read Also: How to watch the 2023 Music City Track Carnival?
Having triumphed in the 800m at the delayed 2021 Tokyo Olympics and claiming the world title in Eugene, Oregon, last summer, Mu is the top contender in the women’s 1500m Pro race this weekend in Nashville. Her primary goal is to assess her fitness level through a strong performance.
The upcoming race holds particular significance as it marks Mu’s return to the 1500m event since her college days in 2021 when she represented Texas A&M. Her personal best of 4:16.06, achieved that same year, provides a benchmark for her competitors to contend with.
Mu’s coach, the renowned Bobby Kersee, has expressed his intentions of having her compete in both the 1500m and 800m races this year. However, this strategy has sparked debate among track and field experts, some of whom believe it may prove to be a misstep.
At the 2023 Music City Track Carnival on Saturday, Mu will face off against notable athletes such as Esther Gitahi of Kenya, who has already clocked a personal best of 4:13.77 this season. Additionally, Carina Viljoen of South Africa, boasting a season best of 4:10.14 and a personal record of 4:08.36, will provide strong competition.
Below is the start list for the Women’s 1500m Pro Race:
- Alexina Teubel (USA)
- Angel Piccirillo (USA)
- Carina Viljoen (RSA)
- Anna Vess (USA)
- Lauren Berman (USA)
- Madeleine Berkson (USA)
- Addy Wiley (USA)
- Kate Current (CAN)
- Lauren Ryan (AUS)
- Athing Mu (USA)
- Presley Weems (USA)
- Esther Gitahi (KEN)