For the primary time in her skilled profession, the American runner Athing Mu seemed as if she might lose an 800-meter race.
Mu usually dominates her races with a distinctive and easy stride that options little arm motion and, seemingly, little vitality. While her world-class rivals are grunting and grimacing, making an attempt to maintain tempo, Mu is thought to maintain a stoic face and transfer gracefully as she builds a hole between herself and the sphere.
But that’s not what occurred on Sunday evening within the 800-meter remaining. Typically, Mu turns to a different gear with 200 meters left within the race, leaving her rivals behind. But this night Keely Hodgkinson of Britain saved tempo.
The crowd at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., roared as Mu and Hodgkinson ran facet by facet for the ultimate 100 meters. Mu outleaned Hodgkinson on the end line to win with a time of 1 minute 56.30 seconds, beating Hodgkinson by simply eight-hundredths of a second. Mary Moraa of Kenya completed third. Hodgkinson additionally completed behind Mu on the 800-meter Olympic remaining final summer season, setting a nationwide file with a time of 1:55.88.
Hodgkinson and Mu every maintain nationwide data, have received Olympic medals and, now, world championship medals, too. They are the identical age — 20 years previous — and one another’s fiercest competitor within the occasion.
Hodgkinson mentioned that she was completely satisfied with one other silver, this one a world championship medal, however that it was considerably bittersweet to have been “so close” to gold.
Mu mentioned that she had been anticipating Hodgkinson to push her via the end line, and that she had felt, however not seen, Hodgkinson on her left facet in the course of the remaining 100 meters.
“I was just happy it was over,” Mu mentioned. She mentioned that Sunday was a “rough day” and that she didn’t really feel as if she was in her peak bodily form. “Thankfully I got the gold, and thankfully I still had something in me so I could run through the line and finish strong,” she mentioned.
It was one of many closest races she had ever run. In June, she confronted a equally tight race on the U.S. nationwide championships when Ajeè Wilson unexpectedly challenged Mu simply forward of the end line. Still, Mu mentioned she didn’t really feel as if she ran more durable on Sunday than she would have in some other race.
“Most of the races I run, they aren’t really tight races with other people,” Mu mentioned. “But I think this is just how any race would be if I run with someone else that’s really competitive.”
Mu is the primary American girl to win the 800-meter world championship. She joins Donavan Brazier as one in every of two Americans to win the 800-meter world title.