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The Olympic and World Championships 800 metre champion, Athing Mu, has withdrawn from several meets over the past year due to injury, Covid-19 and adjusting to a new training regime.

Now, apparently, she is ready to race and has been announced on the starters list for Saturday’s USATF NYC Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium in New York City.

During the past year much has changed for the teen Olympic Champion now age 21. She switched coaches to Bobby Kersee, talent agencies and has moved from College Station, TX to Los Angeles.

Saturday’s competition looks excellent with Ajee Wilson, and Sage Hurta-Klecker among others racing (see below). For Mu, this race may be a rust buster. What will be intriguing is to see how she performs under months of interrupted training under a coach with primarily sprint training experience. Some 800m runners attempt to improve their 400m times to be able to race utilizing muscular speed — ala sprint speed — while others train for the event as a distance race, building the aerobic foundation first. The question here is, does the 21-year-old need the sprint training? Or has Kersee pushed for distance training?

Mu’s 400m best is a very strong 49.57, a North American U20 record. Her 800m best of 1:55.04 is a national record. Both performances were achieved in 2021 — it’s been two long years and one long year since the smooth-running middle-distance runner has been able to compete.

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