Olivia Miller is the intern for Fortius Media Group at the Olympic Trials. Each NCAA, US Champs and Trials, we have worked with new journalists and encouraged them to immerse themselves into the sports media world. 

This is Olivia’s third piece for us. Each day, she will provide us a story of her interest. I enjoyed this piece very much. 

Mu Finishes First, Kate Grace Takes Second in Dramatic 800m Semi-Final at Hayward Field, by Olivia Miller 

 

Michaela Rose had a strong start in the women’s 800m semi-finals. In the first lap, she emerged to the front of the pack, running a 57.75 in the first 400m. The LSU junior created a sizable gap.

 

As the runners came around the last bend, spectators at Hayward Field rose to give them a standing ovation. Michaela Rose had a considerable lead but it wasn’t enough. Reigning Olympic champion Athing Mu managed to overtake Rose in the final meters.

 

She wasn’t the only one.

Kate Grace wants to make it to Paris, and she battled to the finish in the semi-final, guaranteeing her place in the final! photo by Chuck Aragon for RunBlogRun

 

Olympian Kate Grace barreled through from the inside just in time to clinch her spot in the final. She paid the price for it. After accidental contact with Rose, Grace crossed the finish line, stumbled off the track, over the rail, and fell hard onto the infield. There were gasps from the crowd. She stayed on the ground, rolling over onto her back, but eventually was able to get up.

 

In the day’s fastest women’s 800m heat, Mu finished with a top time of 1:58.84. Grace earned second place, crossing the line at 1:58.97. Both athletes automatically advance to the finals by finishing in the top two of their heat. Rose also earned a spot in the women’s 800m final, qualifying with her time of 1:59.00.

 

Grace talked about her fall in the mixed zone, still trying to catch her breath.

 

“Everything was honest. (I was) probably a little tired, and there were a lot of us trying to get to the line…If it hadn’t been the thing (rail) right there, maybe I wouldn’t have fallen. There was a ton of stuff there on the infield, and you kind of had nowhere to go.”

 

She displayed visible scrapes on her arm, knee, and hip, but rest assured, she will compete in the women’s 800m final.

 

“I didn’t hit my head. I came down hard on my arms and my legs, but the head is what we care about the most.”

 

These Olympic trials are part of Grace’s highly anticipated comeback. In 2021, she contracted COVID-19, which led to a prolonged recovery period. Throughout 2022, she openly shared her struggles with COVID-19 on Instagram, keeping her fans informed on her progress. The following year, she gave birth to her son.

 

Now, at 35, Grace aims to make her comeback. Her previous Olympic performance in Rio resulted in an 8th-place overall finish. She advanced to the finals in the last Olympic trials but ultimately placed 7th.

​ 

By