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Athletics: Mu ends long American wait for women's 800m gold

Athing Mu of the United States won the gold medal in the Olympic women's 800m final on Tuesday (Aug 3), her country's first victory in the event in more than half a century, as her compatriot Raevyn Rogers grabbed bronze.

Athletics: Mu ends long American wait for women's 800m gold

Athing Mu of the United States runs to win the final of the women's 800m at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Aug 3, 2021. (Photo: AP/Francisco Seco)

TOKYO: Athing Mu of the United States won the gold medal in the Olympic women's 800m final on Tuesday (Aug 3), her country's first victory in the event in more than half a century, as her compatriot Raevyn Rogers grabbed bronze.

The absence of South Africa's double champion Caster Semenya, ruled ineligible due to heightened testosterone levels, opened up the field to a new winner, and the 19-year-old Mu took full advantage.

She dominated the race, leading almost from the start and crossing the line clear of her rivals in a time of 1:55.21, to secure the US a second gold in the event after Madeline Manning's triumph in 1968.

Keely Hodgkinson of Britain took silver.

Athing Mu (left) of the United States reacts after crossing the line first to win the Tokyo Olympics women's 800m, next to team-mate Raevyn Rogers who won bronze. (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)​​​​​​​

Mu, whose parents moved to the US from Sudan two decades ago, said it was "awesome" that she won gold at such a young age.

"I wasn't really putting gold on that, but as it got closer to the final today, I was like: 'Yeah, we want gold,'" she said.

Mu said that getting ahead quickly was part of her strategy.

"I wanted to go early from the front and not let anyone mess up my race plan. I just wanted to do my own thing," she said.

READ: Jamaica's Thompson-Herah wins 200m to seal Olympic double

Mu's time was an American national record.

"I knew it was pretty close, but to do that again feels amazing," she said.

Along with the bronze for Rogers, who posted a personal best of 1:56.81, the pair became the first US medallists in the event since 1988.

Britain's Hodgkinson ran a brilliant second half of the race to earn silver.

"That is absolutely mental," she told the BBC when told she had just won an Olympic silver medal.

The 19-year-old broke 2004 Olympic champion Kelly Holmes' British national record with a time of 1:55.88.

"Kelly Holmes is a legend, and I looked up to her. I have been speaking to her for the past couple of days and she is a lovely person," Hodgkinson said. 

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network. 

Source: Reuters/kg

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