Moraa warms up for Diamond League debut with victory in Italy

Jamaica's Natoya Goule (right) wins the women's 800m semi-final followed by third-placed Kenya's Mary Moraa

Jamaica's Natoya Goule (right) wins the women's 800m semi-final followed by third-placed Kenya's Mary Moraa (left) during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 31, 2021.

Photo credit: Jewel Samad | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Moraa held off Uruguayan Deborah Rodriguez (2:00.50) and Chanelle Price (2:00.89) from United States to win in her first race since the Tokyo Olympics
  • Moraa was the only Kenyan winner on the night with 2013 World 5,000m silver medalist Mercy Cherono finishing third in women’s 3,000m in 8:40.76


Kenya’s Mary Moraa got a boost of confidence ahead of her maiden Diamond League appearance in Brussels on Friday with victory in women’s 800m at the Palio Citta della Quercia in Rovereto, Italy, on Tuesday.

Moraa, who reached the semi-finals of women’s 800m at the Tokyo Olympic Games, cruised to victory in two minutes and 00.40 seconds at the World Athletics Continental Silver Tour event.

Moraa held off Uruguayan Deborah Rodriguez (2:00.50) and Chanelle Price (2:00.89) from United States to win in her first race since the Tokyo Olympics.

It was Moraa’s first race since clocking personal best 1:59.25 at Sollentuna Grand Prix in Sweden in July to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Games.

“It was a good race and a good victory that gives me great confidence in future races. My goal is to run the fastest times in the two-lap race,” said the 21-year-old Moraa, the 2017 World Under-18 400m silver medallist.

Moraa was the only Kenyan winner on the night with 2013 World 5,000m silver medalist Mercy Cherono finishing third in women’s 3,000m in 8:40.76. 

Cherono lost the battle to authorised neutral athlete Svetlana Aplachkina (8:39.95) and Elena Burkard from Germany in 8:40.46 respectively.

Cornelius Tuwei clocked 1:46.25 to settle fourth in men’s 800m race won by Catalin Tecuceanu from Romania in 1:45.19.

Olympic finalist Michael Cherry clocked an impressive 44.55 in in the men’s 400m, smashing the meeting record of 44.86 held by Kenya’s Samson Kitur since 1992.

At the Allianz Memorial Van Damme meeting in Brussels, Moraa will face Tokyo Olympics 800m silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson from Britain, who is the fastest in the pack among others.

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