World 800 metres bronze medallist Mary Moraa gatecrashed Keely Hodgkinson and Laura Muir’s Anglo-Scottish duel to take 800m gold at the Commonwealth Games.
The 22-year-old fast rising Kenyan sensation showed devastating speed down the home straight to outlast Hodgkinson, winning in one minute 57.07 seconds.
“I am just happy… I just lack the words to express my joy,” said Moraa, who broke to a victory dance after crossing the finish line.
Scotland’s Muir took bronze by one hundredth of a second ahead of Jamaica’s Natoya Goule.
The victory saw Moraa recapture the title Kenya relinquished in 2018 Gold Coast to South Africa’s Caster Semenya.
— TeamKenya (@OlympicsKe) August 6, 2022
Moraa initially appeared to have misjudged her pace, cantering clear of the pack in the opening 300 metres, before slowing around the bell.
But there was still plenty of sting left in her legs and, as Hodgkinson and Muir attempted to crank up the pressure 200 metres from home, Moraa tracked them and found a gear beyond either.
Other than American Olympic and world champion Athing Mu, Moraa is the only athlete to have beaten Hodgkinson over 800m this year.
She triumphed in Stockholm in June with a similarly ferocious kick from home and the former 400m specialist, who only changed up to two laps last year, looks set to make Mu and Hodgkinson’s rivalry into a three-hander drama.
This was Kenya’s fourth gold in the 2022 ‘Club’ Games, after Ferdinand Omanyala (100m), Jackline Chepkoech (3,000m steeplechase), Abraham Kibiwot (3,000m steeplechase) won titles in their respective races.