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Athing Mu wins historic gold in women’s 800-meter race at Tokyo Olympics

The 19-year-old prodigy is the first American woman to win the race in over 50 years.

Athing Mu Getty Images

Athing Mu will leave her first-ever Olympics a gold medal winner and made American history in the process. The 19-year-old track and field prodigy won the 800-meter final on Tuesday (Aug. 3) at the Tokyo Olympics, crossing the line in 1:55.21 and breaking an American record.

According to USA Today, Mu led for the entire race and was followed by Keely Hodgkinson from Great Britain, who came in second place; and America’s Raevyn Rogers, who finished third at 1:56.81.

With this achievement, Mu has become the first American woman to win Olympic gold in the 800 meters in over 50 years. The last track and field Olympian to win the race, Madeline Manning-Mims, claimed gold at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

“Coming here, I came with a medal mentality,” Mu told USA Today on Tuesday. “I came here wanting a medal.”

“I came here with the idea of getting a medal,” she added. “That’s been one of my goals since after NCAAs.”

The Trenton, New Jersey native previously broke the collegiate 400- and 800-meter records while competing as a freshman at Texas A&M. She then won the 800-meter at the U.S. trials and now rounds out her prolific run with her first gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

“She’s a great person and super talented,” American men’s 800-meter runner Clayton Murphy told USA Today. “It’s a lot of fun to see what she’s doing. She’s a special person and it’s a lot of fun to watch her compete.”

Mu is the second American competitor to take home a gold medal in track and field at the Tokyo Olympics so far. On Monday (Aug. 2), American Valarie Allman won a gold medal in women’s discus.

Watch Mu’s historic finish on Twitter below.

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