No tears of joy. No screams of shock. No big deal, really.
For 19-year-old US sensation Athing Mu, winning the Olympic gold medal in the women’s 800m on Tuesday (3) was just what she expected of herself all along.
“I’m satisfied,” Mu said after becoming the first US woman to claim the Olympic 800m title in more than half a century. “I came out here and did what I had to do. My goal was to be a medallist. I knew it was possible so I’m not shocked or anything.”
In a commanding display of speed and grace, Mu grabbed the lead from the start and never looked back, pulling away to finish in 1:55.21, breaking the previous national record of 1:56.07 that she set at the US Olympic Trials in June.
Another 19-year-old, Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, took silver in a national record of 1:55.88, while the USA’s Raevyn Rogers made a late surge to claim the bronze in a personal best 1:56.81.
Mu, the second youngest of seven siblings whose parents moved to the US from Sudan 20 years ago, is the first US woman to capture the women’s 800m title since Madeline Mims at the 1968 Mexico City Games. She’s also the second-youngest Olympic champion in the 800m after Kenya’s Pamela Jelimo, who won gold in 2008 at the age of 18.
For all her youthful exuberance, Mu displays the poise and self-confidence of an experienced veteran way beyond her years. Winning the Olympic title was all part of the plan and the high standards that she set for herself, a belief that this is her time.
“I’m accomplishing all the crazy things. Being an Olympic gold medallist, that’s insane,” said Mu, draped with an American flag and flashing a megawatt smile. “I expected it. I knew this is where I was supposed to be at this point in time. I knew this was definitely possible.”
SOURCE: WORLD ATHLETICS