Less than a month after winning the 800m Olympic gold in Tokyo, Athing Mu bettered her American record over the two-lap race at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday afternoon, stopping the clock at 1:55.04.
The 19-year old improved her previous American record by .17 seconds and set a meet record. Mu has won seven straight races since turning professional on June 19.
“I knew this was probably going to be a little tougher coming off the Olympic games and running a personal best there,” Mu said to reporters. “I was not concerned about the time, I just wanted to run with whoever is there and to be competitive.”
Mu led from start to finish, covering the first lap in 54.60. She beat the field by 2.5 seconds as her fellow American Kate Grace finished second in 1:57.60 and Jamaican Natoya Goule was third in a time of 1:57.71.
Mu was not the only American who dazzled on the track. Noah Lyles, who fell short with a bronze medal finish in the men’s 200m in Tokyo, ran a world-leading 19.52 Saturday.
Lyles had this to say on Twitter after the race:
EVERY TIME I LOSE I COME BACK STRONGER 19.52!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/EMucvdyAjb
— Noah Lyles, OLY (@LylesNoah) August 21, 2021
Lyles’s brother, Josephus Lyles had a personal best performance of 20.03 seconds and finished third in the race, behind Kenny Bednarek (19.80) and above Canada’s Aaron Brown, who finished fourth in 20.12. Canadian Jerome Blake made his Pre Classic debut, clocking a personal best time of 20.20 over the half-lap race and finishing sixth.