World champion Mary Moraa wins 800m Diamond League title in Doha

Mary Moraa celebrates after winning in Doha. [Courtesy,X]

World champion Mary Moraa kicked off her 2024 Diamond League season with an impressive victory in the women’s 800m race in Doha on Friday evening.

Moraa, who recently claimed the African Games title and Kip Keino Classic, surged ahead in the final stretch to secure the win with a season-best time of 1:57.91.

Facing tough competition, Moraa held off British indoor mile record holder Jemma Reekie, who finished second with a time of 1:58.42.

Benin’s Noélie Yarigo came in third, also recording a season-best of 1:58.70.

Returning to Doha for the first time since competing in the 2019 World Championships, Moraa demonstrated her dominance early in the race.

She quickly positioned herself at the front, just behind Polish pacemaker Agata Kolakowska. The target time for the race was set at 1:56.00, and Moraa looked on track to achieve it as she hit the lap mark at 56.57.

With the pacemaker stepping aside, Moraa maintained her lead despite significant pressure from Reekie, who made a strong attempt to overtake on the outer lane.

Moraa’s performance surpassed her previous season-best of 1:57.96, which she set when winning her first 800m race of the season at the Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Continental Tour gold event, on April 20.

Moraa's victory in Doha reaffirms her status as a formidable contender in the 800m event, setting a high standard for the rest of the season.

In other events, Kenyan runner Nelly Chepchirchir delivered a notable performance in the women’s 1500m, setting her season-best time.

The 20-year-old finished third in a thrilling race, clocking 4:01.19. Freweyni Hailu won the race with a time of 4:00.42, while Jessica Hall of Australia finished second in 4:00.84. Another Kenyan, Susan Ejore, placed eighth with a time of 4:04.70.

Moraa’s victory and Chepchirchir’s strong showing highlight the strength and depth of Kenyan middle-distance running as the 2024 Diamond League season gets underway.

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