Mary Moraa’s Olympic Quest: Can She Smash World Records?

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– Mary Moraa aims for Olympic Games in Paris.

– Prefontaine Classic: 2nd place, strong performance.

– Focus on improving speed, transition from 400m to 800m.

– Showdown with Hodgkinson at Diamond League events.

Mary Moraa, the reigning world 800m champion, expressed contentment with her ongoing preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. She emphasized that her recent performance, securing second place at the Prefontaine Classic, signals significant progress towards potentially breaking the world record.

“I am happy about the performance, for which I had left the country early to come prepare in the United States. I left on the 8th of May and had enough time to train, which went a long way in boosting my performance,” the Commonwealth Games champion said.

Prefontaine Classic Diamond League Performance

World Champion Mary Moraa, finished in 2nd position at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League on Saturday last week  in the USA.

In the 800 meters, Moraa took the lead in the first lap but was overtaken by Kelly Hodgkinso of Britain at the last turn.

Hodgkinson cut the tape first in 1:55.78, to win her first 800m of the season following her 400m personal best time she clocked in her season opener. Moraa, the Commonwealth Games champion finished second in 1:56.71 as Jemma Reekie completed the podium, clocking an impressive time of 1:57.45.

The 23-year-old Moraa– has been in great form this season, starting with the 400m race to improve her speed.

She won the 400m races in the third AK track and field meeting and the African Games national trials before reigning supreme at the African Games in Accra, Ghana.

The Kenyan then proceeded to finish second in the 400m at the USTAF Los Angeles Grand Prix. In the 800m, she was off to a good start at the Kip Keino Classic before reigning supreme in the Diamond League Meeting in Doha, Qatar.

Moraa then proceeded to finish second in the Diamond League Meeting in Eugene, behind Hodgkinson. The clash had initially included Athing Mu, the reigning Olympic champion but she had to withdraw due to an injury.

Mary Moraa Profile

Mary Moraa (born 15 June 2000) is a Kenyan athlete who specialises in the 800 metres. 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 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).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.In September, Moraa became the Diamond League 800 m champion after she won final in Zürich.

Personal bests

  • 400 metres – 50.38 (Nairobi 2023) NR
  • 800 metres – 1:56.03 (Budapest 2023)
    • 800 metres indoor – 2:00.61 (Liévin 2023)

Circuit wins and titles, National titles

  • Diamond League 800 metres champion: 2022

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

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