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Mary Moraa says a prayer after winning teh Kenyan Olympics trials. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Athletics

Inspired by David Rudisha, Mary Moraa looks to be next 800m queen

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – Mary Moraa is set to conclude her first full season as a two-lap runner and the 21-year old is keen to build for herself a stature as the new queen of the 800m race, picking inspiration from men’s world record holder David Rudisha.

Moraa says she constantly watches Rudisha’s videos to try and get inspiration and tactics as she bids to become better in the race.

“I usually watch a lot of David Rudisha’s races to try and get inspiration as well as getting to learn from him. I constantly watch his race at the London Olympic Games where he broke the world record and it really inspires me,” the 21-year old said.

Moraa transited to the 800m race at the start of the season, moving away from the 400m and ended up qualifying for her first ever Olympics, where she reached the semi-final stage.

“I felt that I was stronger in the 800m despite some few doubts when I started off. My coaches advised me to try out the 800m and move away from the 400m and so far I love it. I do not even regret the decision. Of course transitioning has come with its own challenges but I am coping up very well,” said Moraa.

She competed at the Olympic Games, coming third in the semi-final and merely missing out on a place in the final.

But she chooses to look at her glass as half full and says the experiences picked up from Tokyo will be vital especially ahead of next season with the African Championships, World Championships and the Commonwealth Games on the cards.

“I am thinking of changing my running tactics because I am usually one to attack from the back. At the Olympic Games it did not work out in the semis because when I started to kick in the final 200m, the athletes ahead of me were 2m ahead and it was tough to catch up,” Moraa told Capital Sport.

She adds; “Now I want to try and be a front runner because that might be easier for me. I look at how Rudisha runs and even Sum (Eunice) and they are both front runners. I have to try that out in training and some races to see how it works for me,” Moraa, who won silver at the 2017 World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi stated.

Moraa will conclude her 2021 season at home, competing at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi before taking a rest and back in training to focus on a busy 2021.

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“Racing at home would be great and I am looking forward to the Kip Keino Classic. This will be a great way for me to finish the season and also look at where I am in terms of form and shape,” Moraa says.

She adds; “Next year is a very busy year with the three Championships and I am looking forward to try and qualify in the first place before we plan on what we want to achieve. For me, I always take a step at a time.”

At the Kip Keino Classic on Saturday, MOraa will battle reigning World Champion Halima Nakaayi of Uganda who ran a personal best of 1:58.03 at the Monaco leg of the Diamond League this season.

USA’s Chanelle Price with a Personal Best of 1:58.73, set in Eugene this year will also be one to watch out for in the race.

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