Kenya’s Mary Moraa wins 800m Diamond League opener in Doha


World champion Mary Moraa shone brightly under the lights of the Doha Diamond League, as she kick-started her 2024 season by securing a commanding victory in the women’s 800m race on Friday evening.

The Kenyan middle-distance star, fresh off her triumph at the African Games, delivered a spectacular performance to finish first in a season-best time of 1:57.91.

Moraa’s victory was hard-earned against a strong field, including British sensation Jemma Reekie, who finished a close second with a time of 1:58.42.

Benin’s Noélie Yarigo also put up a commendable performance, claiming third place with a season-best of 1:58.70.

The race began with Polish pacemaker Agata Kolakowska setting a brisk pace, aiming for a target time of 1:56.00.

As the competitors hit the lap mark at 56.57 seconds, the stage was set for a thrilling finish. After Kolakowska stepped off, Moraa took control, demonstrating her world-class endurance and strategy.

Kenya’s Mary Moraa celebrates after winning the 800m women’s title in Doha. PHOTO: Wanda Diamond League

Despite a strong challenge from Reekie, who looked poised to overtake in the outer lane, Moraa held her ground and surged ahead in the homestretch.

This victory marked Moraa’s return to Doha, where she previously competed in the 2019 World Championships. Her win today not only establishes her as a dominant force this season but also surpasses her previous best of 1:57.96, set at the Kip Keino Classic earlier in April.

Meanwhile, the women’s 1500m race also saw notable performances, with Kenya’s Nelly Chepchirchir finishing third.

The 20-year-old recorded a season-best time of 4:01.19, following behind Ethiopia’s Freweyni Hailu, who won the race in 4:00.42, and Australia’s Jessica Hall, who clocked in at 4:00.84. Kenyan athlete Susan Ejore also competed in the race, finishing eighth with a time of 4:04.70.

Mary Moraa’s triumph in Doha signals a promising start to her season, reinforcing her status as one of the premier athletes in women’s middle-distance running.

As the Diamond League series continues, all eyes will be on Moraa as she looks to build on her early success and continue her dominance on the global stage.

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