mary moraa celebrates gold in the world championship women's 800m final

BUDAPEST, Hungary (28 August) — The National Athletics Center was abuzz with anticipation, with the women’s 800m final being one of the center-staged events on the concluding day of the 2023 World Athletics Championships. The race, which ended in a reshuffling of the podium from last year’s event in Oregon, did not disappoint.

Mary Moraa of Kenya used a blistering final sprint to overtake the favorites, Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson and USA’s Athing Mu, in the last 100m en route to running the fastest time of her career.

Mu, the reigning champion from the 2022 World Championships, set a blistering pace, passing the 400m mark in 56.01 seconds. Moraa and Hodgkinson were right behind, clocking 56.07 and 56.34 seconds respectively.

Read more: Women’s 800m final: Mary Moraa upsets Mu and Hodgkinson in fast race: RRW

As the race progressed, Mu continued her aggressive approach, reaching the 600m mark in 1:26.21 with Moraa (1:26.32) and Hodgkinson (1:26.45) close behind her to set up a very exciting final 100m.

The final stretch saw a dramatic turn of events.

Women’s 800m final splits, results and notes on Sunday:

Athlete400m Time600m TimeFinal TimeNotes
Mary Moraa (PB)56.071:26.321:56.03PB
Keely Hodgkinson56.341:26.451:56.34
Athing Mu (SB)56.011:26.211:56.61SB
Raevyn Rogers (SB)56.571:27.121:57.45SB
Jemma Reekie56.271:26.511:57.72
Nia Akins (PB)56.471:26.751:57.73PB
Adelle Tracey (PB)56.731:27.321:58.41PB
Halimah Nakaayi56.371:27.101:59.18

Athing Mu, perhaps feeling the pressure, moved wide, while running much extra distance, but forcing her competitors to the outer lanes.

This tactical move, however, backfired as she faded, completing the last 100m in a sluggish 15.43 seconds. Moraa seized the opportunity, sprinting past in a swift 14.66 seconds, with Hodgkinson also passing the American on the inside to end with 14.72 seconds.

Moraa’s triumphant finish in a personal best time of 1:56.03 not only earned her the gold but also etched her name in the record books with the tenth-fastest time in the event’s history at the World Championships.

Keely Hodgkinson, replicating her performance from Oregon in 2022 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, secured another silver medal in 1:56.34, while a visibly exhausted Mu managed to clinch bronze with a season-best 1:56.61.

In another notable performance, USA’s Nia Akins clocked a personal best of 1:57.73, marking the fastest 6th-place finish in the history of the World Championships for the women’s 800m.

There were three personal bests achieved in the women’s 800m final in Budapest –Jamaica’s Adelle Tracey clocked 1:58.41 to join Moraa and Akins on that list.

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