Teenager Athing Mu is the first American woman to win Olympic 800m gold since 1968

Wearing a pink “CONFIDENT” barrette she sold at a California Nordstrom just before heading to Japan for the Olympics and in particular, for the occasion, 19-12 months-vintage New Jersey local Athing Mu received gold within the women’s 800 meters on Tuesday night.

Her time of 1 minute, fifty-five. 21 seconds is now the U.S. File and 5th-great in Olympic history. Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson gained silver with a British document of one: fifty-five. 88, even as American Raevyn Rogers closed robust to earn bronze in 1:56.81. even though

Mu led twine-to-twine to grow to be only the second American girl to win the occasion, following Madeline Manning in 1968. 

The young phenom has grace and charm in spades, and if she’s overwhelmed by the level or the stakes of being in an Olympics at the same time as nonetheless a teen, she surely doesn’t display it.

While being at the Olympic level was new, Mu has a variety of excessive-stage enjoy for a person so younger. She’s been going for walks on junior countrywide and senior countrywide teams for years, and gained a U.S. Championship inside the indoor 600m as a 16-12 months-antique, placing an American report within the process. During her one season at Texas A&M, she broke extra records, along with the below-20 global file inside the 800, and won 3 NCAA titles.

She feels that experience has helped her in Tokyo. 

And she worked for it. With about 75 meters to head, Rogers turned into in the seventh location, but she stormed down the straightaway in lane four to edge out Great Britain’s Jemma Reekie for 0.33.

“The ultimate 100 I simply needed to supply all of it I had and there was a cut-up 2d inside the race where it is like, you must like try to cross cuz you could get a medal,” Rogers said. “This breakup second I became like, ‘Oh shoot as I must definitely, pass for this.’ I imply we are strolling, as a minimum for me, the strain of the Olympics changed into much like World Championships. 

“And so, that felt like the Olympics, the consideration of its far form of what everybody else can respect and admire I’m simply doing the work that I need to do. But now being capable of healthy each person and be like you already know wow, like I’m an Olympic medalist bronze medalist, to be that top in the world is a massive deal.” 

It’s been clear for some time that Mu is the destiny of American middle-distance strolling — although Rogers, at 24, is still younger herself — and Rogers is wowed by way of how her teammate has dealt with it all.

“I feel like she led American middle-distance gracefully this year, even just her collegiate season. She simply had a first-rate year,” Rogers said. “Madeline Manning Mims, Athing instructed me, ‘I recognize Madeline’s proud folks’ that is genuine because Madeline paved the manner.”

Mu wore the barrette, however outwardly she doesn’t lack self-belief in any respect. Asked if she’d ever go for the 800m-400m double on the Olympics, she confirmed another time that she knows her game’s history. 

“Most clearly. I assume we were speaking approximately in advance in the 12 months, my train and I, running the 4-8 double, most truly we are gonna placed my call at the list of the 2 people that have completed that, because I want to do it,” she said.

Cuba’s Alberto Juantorena is currently the simplest character to win gold on each occasion, which he did on the 1976 Games. And it is no longer all Mu needs.

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