AK National Trials: Moraa books 800m slot in style

Mary Moraa crosses the finish line to win the women's 800 metres final

Mary Moraa crosses the finish line to win the women's 800 metres final at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on June 24, 2022 in the Kenyan trials for the World Athletics Championships-cum-Commonwealth Games.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Moraa hit the bell in 57 seconds, holding off Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich to triumph in one minute and 57.47 seconds during the national trials
  • Moraa, who has now positioned herself for her maiden show at the two events, had set her personal best of 1:58.93 when claiming her first Diamond League victory in Rabat on June 5, this year

Fast rising Mary Moraa Friday cracked personal best to win the 800m final and storm the World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Moraa hit the bell in 57 seconds, holding off Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich to triumph in one minute and 57.47 seconds during the national trials at Moi International Sports centre, Kasarani on Friday.

Moraa, who has now positioned herself for her maiden show at the two events, had set her personal best of 1:58.93 when claiming her first Diamond League victory in Rabat on June 5, this year.

Chepn’getich, the 2019 World 1,500m silver medallist, might have finished second in 1:58.18 but the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion already has a wild card in 1,500m, having won the 2021 Diamond League.

It seems Kenya will only have one representative in 800m, Moraa, with the rest not having attained the qualifying mark of1:59.50.

Jarinter Mawia, who finished third in 2:00.36 has a time of 1:59.84, hence falling off the qualifying mark.

Mary Moraa
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Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

However, Moraa and Mawia have qualified for the Commonwealth Games.

The World Athletics Championships are due for July 15 to August 24 in Oregon, United States and will be followed by the Commonwealth Games on July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, England.  

“I am not there yet despite improving my personal best. I will go back to my coach for more tips as we have a few weeks until the championships,” said Moraa. “It doesn't make me happy being alone in the team but my plan is to get to the final, having lost in the semis at the Tokyo Olympics,” said Moraa.

Chepng’etich said she was after gauging her speed and commended Moraa for setting the bar high. “It was a good experience but I still don’t know yet if I will double up,” said Chepng’etich, whose main target is to recapture the 1,500m world title. “I am still the best in the metric mile hence no pressure going to Oregon,” explained Chepng'etich.

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