Athing Mu Wins Olympic Track and Field 800m Gold; 1st USA Woman in 53 Years to Win

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 3, 2021

AP Photo/Petr David Josek

American Athing Mu took gold in the women's 800 meters at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Tuesday.

NBC Olympics tweeted video of the 19-year-old's historic victory:

#TokyoOlympics @NBCOlympics

ATHING MU TAKES THE GOLD! πŸ₯‡<br><br>She is the first American woman to win the 800m since the 1968 Mexico City Games. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/WmJq2dYulr">pic.twitter.com/WmJq2dYulr</a>

Mu set an American record in the women's 800 meters with a time of 1:55.21, while Great Britain's Keely Hodgkinson won silver at 1:55.88 and American Raevyn Rogers took bronze with a time of 1:56.81.

Here is a full rundown of the women's 800-meter results, courtesy of Olympics.com:

1. Athing Mu (USA): 1:55.21

2. Keely Hodgkinson (GBR): 1:55.88

3. Raevyn Rogers (USA): 1:56.81

4. Jemma Reekie (GBR): 1:56.90

5. Wang Chunyu (CHN): 1:57.00

6. Habitam Alemu (ETH): 1:57.56

7. Alexandra Bell (GBR): 1:57.66

8. Natoya Goule (JAM): 1:58.26

Mu's victory broke a surprising drought for Team USA, as no American woman or man had won gold in a track event at the 2021 Summer Games before Tuesday.

Also, Mu became the first American woman to win Olympic gold in the event since Madeline Manning accomplished the feat at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Mu and Rogers became the first female American duo to ever win medals in the same Olympics in the 800 meters, and their medals were the first by an American woman in the event since Kim Gallagher won bronze at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.

Renowned track coach Steve Magness tweeted the following about Mu's impressive performance Tuesday:

Steve Magness @stevemagness

Athing Mu! 1:55.22! <br><br>New American Record!<br><br>Takes it from the gun. A MasterClass of controlling the race with full composure!<br><br>First US Olympic Gold in the 800 since 1968. <br><br>Also, Two 19yr olds go 1-2. And Rogers 3rd!

Tyler Dragon of USA Today and Daniel Gallen of Penn Live remarked that Mu barely seemed to break a sweat in beating out the rest of the field:

Tyler Dragon @TheTylerDragon

Athing Mu once again just made an Olympic gold medal look easy.

Daniel Gallen @danieljtgallen

Athing Mu makes it look too easy

Mu, who is a native of Trenton, New Jersey, entered the Olympics as a strong candidate to take gold after setting the collegiate record in the 800 in April while running for Texas A&M.

Hodgkinson, who set a new British record in the race, became the first British woman to medal in the event since Kelly Holmes won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

With two Americans and one Brit taking the podium, Tuesday marked the first time since 1992 that no African runner had won a medal in the women's 800 meters.


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