The Women’s 800m finals will be one of the finest races of the entire championships. All Olympic medalists are back! Stuart Weir wrote this one!
Women’s 8oo semi-finals
If there was a more loaded set of races than the three women’s 800m semi0finals, I must have missed it. Twenty-six athletes lined up – the 24 who qualified plus two athletes added to the field after being tripped in the heats. There were 4 from Briton, three from USA, and athletes from 14 other countries. There were the Olympic medalists from Tokyo – Athing Mu, Keely Hodgkinson, and Raevyn Rogers. In fact, six of the Tokyo finalists were in the field. The 2019 World Champion Halimah Nakaayi and the other two medalists were in the field in Oregon. There were 24 sub-2-minute ladies.
It all sounded really exciting, but how on earth were we going to reduce 26 to just eight?
The three winners were
Mary Moraa 1:59.65
Athing Mu 1:58.12
The three runners-up also with an automatic pass to the final
Ajee Wilson 1:59.97
Natoya Goule 1:58.73
Diribe Welteji 1:58.16
There were just two additional places available. Raevyn Rogers got the first of the two places with 1:58.77. It would have been embarrassing if she had not, given that her face is on the Haywards Field tower. The final place went to Anita Horvat from Slovenia, running a PR of 1:59.60. When athletes of the caliber of Renelle Lamote and Halimah Nakaayi finish 18th and 19th, you know that it was a tough race.
In Tokyo, Britain had three in the final. In Oregon, four in the semi-final but only one in the final.
This is what some of the main athletes said:
“It felt like a final. I got a chance to see what it would be like running a final race at a fast pace, having someone else to run with you. I am happy that I got to experience that.”
” Before the race, I did not even think of the final; it was a surprise. This is just amazing. I still cannot believe it. I saw the clock when we turned 400m, and I saw that it was fast. But I just kept fighting. My legs were burning, but I just did not give up. When I saw I had the chance to place third, I just pushed a bit more and more, and it worked.
“I felt good tonight. I cannot wait for the final. I think Athing is going to be strong. She is a good competitor. But I do not think that the gold medal is already on anyone’s neck. There are a good five of us battling for the medal”.
“I started out, but I wasn’t in a good position when I found myself at the back. But I stayed composed because I am Natoya Goule, and I found myself back in the front. The hardest part is over. I look forward to the finals. I am excited.”
“It was very important to me to get to the finals because this is my first World championship running 800m. First of all, I thank God that I managed to fulfill my goal, to get to the final
“I got the lead and settled, but I knew I had to save some energy for the end. It means so much to be here, especially with a home crowd”.