On Tuesday, Athing Mu, an Olympic rookie, earned gold for the United States in the women’s 800-meter final. Mu’s historic victory in 1:55:21 set a new American record and became her the first American woman to win the race since the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
A. Mu Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Mu, 19, was favoured to win a gold medal in this sport, and she didn’t disappoint in her first two heats, clocking in at 2:01.10 and 1:58.07, respectively.
First-time Olympian and fellow American Raevyn Rogers grabbed bronze with a personal best time of 1:56:81, trailing only silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain, who set a national record with a time of 1:55:88.
A. Mu World Record
As a freshman at Texas A&M, Mu broke six collegiate marks and a world record this past season, creating a lot of buzz about her Olympic race well before she took the track in Tokyo. Mu won the 400 and 800 metre events at the New Balance Indoor Nationals and Outdoor Nationals in 2018. Mu turned pro in preparation for the Olympic trials.
The 24-year-old Rogers finished in third position in the 800-meter final, but he had previously been second at the 2019 World Athletics Championships. The 4×400-meter relay race was won by Rogers as well, at that same competition.
The Olympic gold medal represents the apex of a breakthrough, record-setting track season for Trenton, New Jersey native Mu. She won the 800 metre event at the U.S. trials after turning professional, and then went on to win the 400 metre and 800 metre events at the Tokyo Olympics.
This latest accomplishment of the middle-distance runner has put her in very select company. Mu followed in the footsteps of fellow American Madeline Manning-Mims by becoming a gold medalist in the 800 metre run in the Olympics. That accomplishment by Manning-Mims was made 53 years ago, at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.