Kenya: Golden Girl Moraa Reveals Reason Behind Her Signature Jig

28 August 2023

Budapest — Kenya's Mary Moraa has for the first time opened up on how she uses her post-race jig to offer her fans bonus entertainment.

Strutting her stuff on the track in the wake of her maiden 800m World Championships gold in Budapest, Moraa became a darling of fans for her dance moves moments after she jumped over the finish line to celebrate the medal and a personal best of 1:56.03.

"I started this victory dance at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, when I won the 800m gold. It has become my signature dance whenever I win races," she expounded.

"After every hard-fought victory, I give my fans something extra so that when they hear of my races, they can keep abreast with results. This is a mannerism I have borrowed from Ezekiel Kemboi, also known for his entertaining post-event jigs."

-Gold Flabbergasts Moraa-

Prior to her dancing antics, Moraa admits that her scintillating medal performance came to her as a pleasant surprise!

"It hasn't sunk in yet," quipped the new women's 800m champion, who candidly admitted she had been disquieted by the presence of world-beating runners prior to the final.

"I was surprised with the gold. All finalists ran a good race. At some point in the race, I was asking myself hard questions-who among us will take the medals at stake? But after the homestretch drama I found myself skipping the finish line," Moraa, the Diamond League winner said.

Asked what was going through her mind after the starter's gun, Moraa went on: "(Athing) Mu was the first one off the blocks, so when she raced ahead of the pack, I thought she wanted to make the race go faster. So, I decided to run behind her but when I did so, I saw Keely pushing harder from behind. It was like I used lane two throughout the race. But it was in the last 150m that I decided to attack."

Moraa told Capital Sport that the gold is a big achievement to the country, his coach and boyfriend.

Moraa had settled for bronze at last year's Oregon Worlds in the USA, but this time round, she restricted Britain's Commonwealth Games silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson to silver once more in 1:56.34 as Olympic Champion Mu locked 1:56.61 to rack up bronze.

"I don't know what happened in the latter stages of that race, I just found myself jumping across the finish line, first. I was so chuffed!"

The last time Kenya won the gold medal in 800m at the World Championship was a decade ago when Eunice Sum emerged the victor.

But Moraa reckons that Kenyans are coming up really well and may soon rule the roost in the race specialty.

-Alex Isaboke is reporting from Budapest, Hungary-

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