Athing Mu Becomes First American to Win Gold in Women’s 800 Meters Since 1968

New Jersey native Athing Mu made American history while receiving her gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Mu, 19, came in first in the 800 meters with a time of 1:55.21 on Tuesday, Sports Illustrated reported. Mu is the first American woman to receive a gold medal in the race since Madeline Manning did it at the 1968 Olympics.

“It’s awesome. I feel like I’ve just accomplished one of my goals. I just wanted to be a medalist,” Mu said after her win. “I wasn’t really putting gold on that, but as it got closer to the final today, I was like, ‘Yeah, we want gold.’ “

Mu is being praised for having one of the best combinations of distance runner strength and sprinter speed in the 800 meters. It had been more than half a century since an American took home the gold in the challenge competition.

Mu, a standout at UCLA, was the first of her seven siblings to be born in the United States a year after her family immigrated to the U.S. from Sudan.

Mu NCAA collegiate records include the 400 meters where she came in at 4957, the 800 meters where she came in at 1:57.73 and the 4×400 meter relay she competed in as a freshman for Texas A&M. Ahead of the Olympic trials, Mu was coming off the heels of winning the NCAA outdoor title in the 400 meters before going pro and signing a lucrative deal with Nike.

After her win, Mu took to Twitter to give God all the glory. “God definitely took the battle for this one! So, thank you Lord,” she tweeted.

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