19-year-old Trentonian Athing Mu scored her ticket to the Tokyo Olympics after an impressive 800-meter run win last Sunday, June 27.
The former Trenton Central High School (TCHS) student finished the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at a speedy 1:56.07, a full second and a half in front of the rest of her competitors. That time is the second fastest ever run by an American (first being Neptune, NJ’s Ajeé Wilson at 1:55.61) and the fastest run by anyone this year.
There has only ever been one woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the 800-meter run – Madeline Mims. Mims won the gold at the at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. With Mu’s track record and speed, fans believe she could be next.
At the beginning of the race, just 150 meters in, things weren’t looking so bright for Mu when fellow runner, Nia Akins, stepped on the back of Mu’s shoe, causing her to stumble slightly. However, in a quick turn around, Mu made recovery and gained the lead halfway through the start of the race.
Mu has been a track star and professional competitor since the young age of six. Her older brothers would bring her along to the Trenton Track Club, where she met Al Jennings (head of the Trenton Track Club) and Bernice Mitchell, who have coaching Mu along her professional track career.
When Mu was 16 years old, she set an earlier impressive American record in the 600m at the 2019 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships, which gave her the title of the second-fastest woman in world history. In 2019, she was also honored with the USA Track & Field Youth Athlete of the Year award, acknowledging her strengths and athletic abilities.
Now, as she finishes up her first year at Texas A&M University, where she studies Kinesiology (the scientific study of human or non-human body movement), Mu’s athletic life continues to skyrocket. Just last month, on Thursday, June 24, Mu officially decided to go pro and signed a multi-year brand deal with Nike. She will be represented by agent Wes Felix.
In July of last year, Mu told TrentonDaily, “I look forward to better understanding my purpose within the sport and just seeing how far I’ll be able to go and what I can accomplish with God’s will.” Less than a year later, it’s safe to say Mu had, and still has, a bright future in track to look forward to.