Mary Moraa’s Tactical Brilliance Dominates Doha Diamond League

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– Mary Moraa wins women’s 800m at Doha Diamond League

– Leads from start, tactical masterclass

– Beat Jemma Reekie, finishes in 1:57.91

– Possible favorite for Paris 2024

Mary Moraa produced another tactical masterclass in the women’s 800m at the Doha Diamond League on Friday (10 May 2024).

Kenya’s reigning world champion was left in front at the bell when the pacemaker stepped off the track, and slowed the pace down with her rivals queueing up behind her.

World indoor silver medallist Jemma Reekie led the challengers, but she was unable to get past with Moraa – who won her first 800m race of the year in Nairobi last month – just staying in front before pulling clear in the home straight to win in 1:57.91.

Benin’s Noelle Yarigo, who took bronze behind Reekie in Glasgow, was third again ahead of Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu with Uganda’s former world champion Halimah Nakaayi in fifth.

Moraa, who beat Olympic champion Athing Mu and Keely Hodgkinson to claim her first world title in Budapest last year, showed the tactical speed which will make her perhaps the woman to beat at Paris 2024.

Mary Moraa Profile

Mary Moraa (born 15 June 2000) is a Kenyan athlete who specializes in the 800 meters. She won the gold medal at the 2023 World Athletics Championships, a bronze medal in the event at the 2022 World Athletics Championships and a gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Moraa was orphaned at age 2 after the death of her father and then her mother. She grew up with her grandparents, in Kisii in western Kenya. She won an education bursary through running.

Moraa is the Kenyan record holder for the 400 metres. She was the 2022 Diamond League 800 m champion

Mary Moraa specialized in the 400 metres distance until 2021. She made her international debut at the World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi and won the silver medal in the event with a personal best time of 53.31 seconds.

The following year, the 18-year-old placed fifth over the same distance at the World U20 Championships held in Tampere, Finland, clocking new best of 52.85 s in the heats.

In 2019, she won in the 400 m the African U20 title, Kenyan senior title, and placed fourth at the African Games held in Rabat, Morocco.

 She reached the semi-finals in her individual event at the Doha World Championships. Her season’s best was 51.75 s. She made her debut in the 800 metres that year.

Moraa transitioned to the 800 metres in 2020, and represented Kenya at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021 competing in the event, where she was eliminated in the semi-finals with a time of 2:00.47.

In July 2022, Moraa won the bronze medal in the 800 m at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, clocking a personal best of 1:56.71 behind Athing Mu (1:56.30) and Keely Hodgkinson (1:56.38).[6] The following month, she won a gold in the event at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games after storming through to beat Hodgkinson in the final. She went from first to last and back to first in that race.[8] In September, Moraa became the Diamond League 800 m champion after she won final in Zürich.

Circuit wins and titles, National titles

Diamond League 800 metres champion:  2022[9]

800 metres wins, other events specified in parentheses

2022: Stockholm Bauhaus-galan, Zürich Weltklasse

2023: Rabat Meeting International (SB)

Kenyan Athletics Championships

400 metres: 2019

Personal bests

400 metres – 50.38 (Nairobi 2023) NR

800 metres – 1:56.03 (Budapest 2023)

800 metres indoor – 2:00.61 (Liévin 2023)


Mary Moraa (KEN) 1:57.91

Jemma Reekie (GBR) 1:58.42

Noelie Yarigo (BEN) 1:58.70

Habitam Alemu (ETH) 1:59.08

Halimah Nakaayi (UGA) 1:59.48

Natoya Goule-Toppin (JAM) 1:59.74

Elena Bello (ITA) 1:59.83

Isabelle Boffey (GBR) 2:01.03

Alexandra Bell (GBR) 2:01.56

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