19-year-old US Olympian Athing Mu takes gold in womens 800 meter

At just 19-years-old, Athing Mu is a gold medal winner.

The Trenton, NJ native made history while finishing the race in 1:55.21 – a U.S. record, breaking a mark set by Ajee Wilson. Mu also became the first American woman to win a gold medal in the 800-meter race in more than a half-century. Madeline Manning-Mims was the last, winning the race at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics 53 years ago.

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Before the games, Mu said: “I’m looking forward to standing on the podium, the middle one, and receiving the gold medal that in the future will have my name engraved on it. I just want to be an Olympic champion, to be completely honest!”

That wish came true.

Originally, if the games went on as scheduled, Mu would not have been a part of the action. Mu is fresh off of a historic freshman year at Texas A&M, where she broke she broke the collegiate 400- and 800-meter records, and won the N.C.A.A. title in the 400. At the end of June, she announced she was going pro and signed with Nike.

The runner then qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by placing first at the US Olympic trials with a time of 1:56.07 min, which was the second-fastest result in American history.

Mu is the first New Jersey woman to win an Olympic gold medal in this year’s games. Sydney McLaughlin, the New Brunswick, NJ native, is a favorite in the 400-meter hurdles.

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