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Maria Mutola, one of the greatest female 800m runner of all time retires
  • August 30th, 2008

maria-mutola.jpg

After 21 glittering years of athletics career, Maria Mutola, who dominated the 800m women event with titles from an Olympic gold to being a 10 time World Champion, the 35 year old Mozambique 800m runner known as the ‘Maputo Express’ has ended her international career at the “Weltklasse Zürich – ÅF Golden League meet” in Switzerland yesterday

Sensing her pace is not what it used to be, Mutola started the race in the pack.

But as she lapped the final turn of her last 800m race, she moved up from her seventh spot to finally end the race in fourth position at the Weltklasse meet.

The race was won by Kenya’s Olympic teenage champion Pamela Jelimo in a time of 1:54.01, the third fastest 800m ever ran by a woman, a new WJR and African record

It was evident despite finishing fourth in a respectable time of 1:58.70, her 200th sub-2min timing infact, and a far cry from her personal best of 1:55.19, Mutola was smiling as she crossed the line, basking in the 26,000 crowds applause.

A highly popular figure at the Letzigrund Stadium where she won her straight 12 wins in the event here, she gave an emotional last media interview, quoted as “It was very emotional and sad” on her retirement

Mutola who earlier this month competed in her sixth Olympic Games 800m women finals where she finished fifth in a season best of 1:57.68, she decided to run her last race in Switzerland as she considers Weltklasse her ‘second’ home

Mutola was a former a star soccer player in her youth before receiving a bursary from the Olympic Solidarity Committee to school and train at Eugene Oregon, USA.

There she developed into a world class runner, competing at her first Olympics at the age of 15 years old and the rest is history …


Maria Mutola in her fourth Olympic games winning gold at 2000 Sydney

Best times

  • 200m 23.86
  • 400m 51.37
  • 800m 1:55.19
  • 1000m 2:29.34
  • 1500m 4:01.50
  • 3000m 9:27.37
  • 5000m 18:15.10

800 m honours

  • Olympic Games: 1988 first round; 1992 5th and 9th 1500 m; 1996 3rd; 2000 1st; 2004 4th
  • World Championships: 1991 4th; 1993 1st; 1995 disqualified semi final; 1997 3rd; 1999 2nd; 2001 1st; 2003 1st, 2005 Honorable Mention
  • World Indoor Championships: 1993 1st; 1995 1st; 1997 1st; 1999 2nd; 2001 1st; 2003 1st; 2004 1st; 2006 1st
  • World Cup: 1992 1st and 3rd 4×400 m Relay; 1994 1st; 1998 1st; 2002 1st and 4th 4×400 m Relay
  • All-Africa Games: 1991 1st; 1995 1st
  • African Championships: 1988 2nd; 1990 1st and 1st 1500 m; 1993 1st; 1998 1st; 2002 1st; 2008 2nd
  • Commonwealth Games: 1998 1st; 2002 1st; 2006 3rd

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Posted by Uncle Sha.
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