Athing Mu Wins the 800 Meters With a Dominant Performance
TOKYO – Before Athing Mu presented himself to the world at the Tokyo Games, the Olympic stadium’s public announcer slaughtered his name.
It was Friday, before her first round of the women’s 800 meters, and Mu made no secret of his dismay.
“I’m sure everyone has seen my face,” said Mu, a 19-year-old American whose name is pronounced “Ah-THING Moe”.
“I don’t even know what he said, but it was terrible. Like, where do you even get that from? “
Mu said it all with a charming, disarming smile – she was used to people getting the wrong names, she said, but it also seemed clear that she wanted some respect. So she went out and made sure she earned it as an Olympic gold medalist.
On Tuesday, Mu became the first American to win gold in her event since 1968, the last and most important milestone for one of the sport’s rising stars.
Mu, a native of Trenton, NJ, finished in 1 minute 55.21 seconds, his personal best and an American record. His strategy from the start was clear: go ahead and stay there. His bossy pace turned the race into a crowning glory.
Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain was second and Raevyn Rogers, Mu’s American teammate, was third for bronze.
Mu arrived in Tokyo a few weeks after completing a historic first year at Texas A&M, where she broke numerous college records and won the NCAA title in the 400. At the end of June, she announced that she was turning pro and signed with Nike.
She dominated the 800 meters at the US Trials, securing a berth in Tokyo setting the fastest time in the world this year. The fastest time, ie until today.
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