Moraa dedicates Doha win to fans, apologises for not dancing

Monday, May 13th, 2024 03:21 | By
Mary Moraa in a past function. PHOTO/World Athletics
Mary Moraa in a past function. PHOTO/World Athletics

World 800m champion Mary Moraa dedicated her 2024 Diamond League victory to the fans but apologised for not pulling her trademark dance at the end of the race in Doha on Friday.

Moraa, who recently claimed the African Games title and Kip Keino Classic, surged ahead in the final stretch to secure the win with a season-best time of 1:57.91 and kick-start her Diamond League campaign on a high.

Facing tough competition, Moraa held off British indoor mile record holder Jemma Reekie, who finished second with a time of 1:58.42. Benin’s Noélie Yarigo came in third, recording a season-best of 1:58.70.

Returning to Doha for the first time since competing in the 2019 World Championships, Moraa demonstrated her dominance early in the race. She quickly positioned herself at the front, behind Polish pacemaker Agata Kolakowska. The target time for the race was set at 1:56.00, and Moraa looked on track to achieve it as she hit the lap mark at 56.57.

“I dedicate this victory to my the fans, who turned out in numbers to not only cheer me but the rest of Kenyan athletes in Doha,” said Moraa, adding: “Big up to those who spared their valuable time to watch us online or on television.

“You all waited for the last Kenyan to compete as you cheered us. That was quite humbling and heartwarming on the night. That is the push we really need to help to compete and push harder especially knowing that the big crowd is from home. I lack the most precise words to thank you...all I can say is that God Bless.

“My apologies for not dancing but you can rest assured that something nice is being choreographed for the next race.”

With the pacemaker stepping aside, Moraa maintained her lead despite significant pressure from Reekie, who made a strong attempt to overtake on the outer lane.Moraa’s performance surpassed her previous season-best of 1:57.96, which she set when winning her first 800m race of the season at the Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Continental Tour gold event, on April 20.

Moraa’s victory in Doha reaffirmed her status as a formidable contender in the 800m event, setting a high standard for the rest of the season. In other events, Kenyan runner Nelly Chepchirchir delivered a notable performance in the women’s 1500m, setting her season-best time.

Moraa’s compatriot Beatrice Chebet was similarly impressive in the women’s 5000m. The high-quality field – which featured the likes of Ejgayehu Taye and her fellow Ethiopians Medina Eisa and Melknat Wudu – was paced through the first 2000m in 5:48, after which Taye took up the running.

The world 10,000m bronze medallist continued to lead through the closing stages, but Chebet unleashed a burst of speed with 200m to go and sprinted away to a clear victory in a world-leading 14:26.98 – a meeting record by virtue of the fact that the women’s 5000m has previously never been held at this competition.

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