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Why Athing Mu has withdrawn from clash against Mary Moraa & Keely Hodgkinson at Prefontaine Classic

The renewal of the rivalry between Athing Mu, Keely Hodgkinson, and Mary Moraa will have to be postponed following the Mu's withdrawal from the Prefontaine Classic.

Athing Mu’s head coach Bobby Kersee has announced that the Olympic champion will miss the looming showdown against world champion Mary Moraa and world bronze medallist Keely Hodgkinson at the Prefontaine Classic, the Diamond League Meeting in Eugene, Oregon.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 25 and Mu has been forced to withdraw due to a lingering soreness in her left hamstring.

Speaking to Runner’s World, the coach explained that the injury is not worth risking to compete. This marks the third time that Mu’s hamstring has pushed back her 2024 season opener. The former world champion was initially scheduled to open at the Oxy Invitational in early May in Los Angeles, then the Los Angeles Grand Prix on May 18, but she unfortunately withdrew from the events.

“She’s a veteran, if she’s healthy, she can make the team. And so, if I injure her before, I’m gonna be called a fool; if I don’t race her before, I’m gonna get [criticism].

“So I have to do the math that’s going to put her on the team, and so whatever that math is between now and the 21st, that’s what I’m gonna do,” the coach said.

Meanwhile, Kersee confirmed that this season, Mu will be focusing on the 800m, the event in which she won a gold medal at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

He added that Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone will also focus on the 400m Hurdles, where she is the world record holder and she is also the defending Olympic champion.

Meanwhile, Kendra Harrison, another of Kersee’s athlete will not competing in the 100m hurdles. Kersee explained that the American suffered a tight back after traveling to compete in last week’s Atlanta City Games.

“She’s ready to go and that’s what I’m telling her. Right now, unless I know she’s 100 percent healthy ... athletes are taking a high risk right now for minimum gain.

“If you’re going to take a high risk, there’s only two races left in this year where you got to take a high risk for maximum gain and that’s our Olympic Trials and our Olympic Games.

“Everything else, you can’t take the risk if you’re not sure about what to gain and vice versa. And so I just think that, you know, in this case, well in all cases, that’s what I’m looking at as a coach: What’s the risk-reward situation, based on where we stand right now?

“Like Sydney last year, based on her career I mean, I could probably try to see if we could struggle through the world championship, but do I break down one of our world’s best athletes trying to sneak out one more medal and then subject her to more injury and don’t have anything this Olympic year, versus do I rest her?

"I think I’ve shown a little bit so far that maybe the rest did not hurt her and now she’s starting to compete again,” the coach said.

(05/23/2024) Views: 206 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula

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