Athing Mu
2019 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships (46472438534) (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Born (2002-06-08) June 8, 2002 (age 20)
Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight124 lb (56 kg)
CountryUnited States
SportTrack and field
Event(s)400 meters
800 meters
College teamTexas A&M Aggies
ClubNike Global Trenton Track Club (youth)
Coached byMilton Mallard (Athletics Coach)
Al Jennings (youth)
Bernice Mitchell (youth)
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
Updated on August 21, 2021[1].

Athing Mu (born June 8, 2002)[1] is an American middle-distance runner. At the age of 19, she won a gold medal in the 800 meters at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, breaking a national record set by Ajeé Wilson in 2017, and a continental under-20 record. Mu took a second gold medal as part of the 4×400 m relay. She set the world under-20 record in the women's indoor 800 m in early 2021 with a time of 1m 58.40s.

Mu also holds the world under-20 best in the indoor 600 meters, set in 2019 when she was 16 years of age. Her time of 1:23.57 is the second fastest ever run indoors and the second fastest run by an American woman in any condition.

Early life

Mu was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and began competing in track at the age of 6.[2] Mu did not join her high school track team, choosing to compete instead for Trenton Track Club.[2]


On February 24, 2019, Mu broke the American women's record at the 600 meter event at the 2019 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships with a time of 1:23.57. She bested the previous American women's record of 1:23.59 held by Alysia Montaño, and nearly broke the women's world record of 1:23.44, held by Olga Kotlyarova.[3]

On February 6, 2021, Mu ran indoor 50.52 in the women's 400 meters, which was 0.3 seconds faster than Sanya Richards' official world under-20 record ratified by World Athletics.[4] However, Mu's time was slower than the 50.36 set by fellow American Sydney McLaughlin, which was not able to meet the standards for world record ratification.[5] On February 27, she ran 1:58.40 in the 800 meters to set an indoor collegiate and world under-20 record.[6][7] She bested the previous collegiate record by more than two seconds. On April 17 in Waco, Texas, running outdoors, Mu set the 800 meter USA collegiate record with a time of 1:57.73.[8] At the 2021 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon on June 12, 2021, she lowered her Collegiate All-time Record mark to 49.57 in winning the 400m, before anchoring the Texas A&M Women's 4 × 400 m relay squad to victory and a new collegiate record of 3:22.34 later in the day.[9][10]


At the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Mu won two gold medals in the Women's 800 meters and Women's 4 x 400 meters relay. She broke the American Women's 800 meter record with a 1m 55.21s performance and ended a 53-year Olympic win drought for the USA – the last American woman who won 800m was Madeline Manning at the 1968 Mexico Olympics (first Olympic 800m male or female win since Dave Wottle at the Munich 1972). Mu had qualified for these Olympics at the US Olympic trials held in Eugene, Oregon by placing first in the event with a time of 1:56.07, a world-leading time and the second-fastest result in American history.[11]

In her first post-Olympic race at the Prefontaine Classic, she set even better American 800 m record of one minute 55.04 seconds despite running by herself over the final lap, also the all-comers' record, putting her eighth on the world all-time list.[12][13] For her record-breaking season Mu was voted World Athletics women's Rising Star.

Personal life

Mu was born in Trenton, New Jersey and is the second youngest of seven siblings.[2] Her parents immigrated to the United States from South Sudan, and her family is of South Sudanese heritage.[2]


All information taken from World Athletics profile.

Personal bests

Event Time Venue Date Notes
400 meters 49.57 Eugene, OR, United States June 12, 2021 CR AU20R
4×400 m relay split 48.32 Tokyo, Japan August 7, 2021 fourth leg[14]
800 meters 1:55.04 Eugene, OR, United States August 21, 2021 AU20R NR, 8th all time
400 meters indoor 50.52 i College Station, TX, United States February 6, 2021
600 meters indoor 1:23.57 i New York, NY, United States February 24, 2019 CR WU18B WU20B
800 meters indoor 1:58.40 i Fayetteville, AR, United States February 27, 2021 CR World under-20 record
One mile indoor 4:37.99 i College Station, TX, United States January 15, 2022

International competitions

Representing the  United States
Year Competition Venue Position Event Time Notes
2018 Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires, Argentina 2nd 800 m 2:05.23
2019 Pan American U20 Championships San José, Costa Rica 1st 800 m 2:05.50
Pan American Games Lima, Peru 11th (h) 800 m 2:07.30
The Match Europe v USA Minsk, Belarus 7th 800 m 2:06.68
8th 400 m 54.34
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 1st 800 m 1:55.21 AU20R NR
1st 4×400 m relay 3:16.85 WL SB

Circuit wins


  1. ^ a b "Athing MU – Athlete Profile". World Athletics. Retrieved June 30, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b c d "Athing Mu". Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Gault, Jonathan (February 24, 2019). "A Star Is Born: 16-Year-Old Athing Mu Breaks American Record, Just Misses WR to Win 600 at 2019 USA Indoors in 1:23.57". Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  4. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (February 7, 2021). "Mu breaks world U20 indoor 400m record, Iapichino leaps 6.75m". Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  5. ^ Lindstrom, Sieg (February 13, 2021). "A&M Frosh Athing Mu Cranking Out Record Times". Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  6. ^ Dutch, Taylor (February 28, 2021). "Athing Mu Smashes the Collegiate Indoor Record in the 800 Meters". Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  7. ^ Mulkeen, Jon; Ramsak, Bob (February 28, 2021). "Mu breaks world U20 indoor 800m record in Fayetteville". Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  8. ^ "Athing Mu Breaks 800m Collegiate Record". Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  9. ^ "Results: Women 400 M (Quarterfinals)". Flash Results. May 29, 2021. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  10. ^ "Athling Mu at Texas A&M". Track & Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS). Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  11. ^ "Athing of Beauty: Mu Runs #2 Time in U.S. History to Win Women's 800 by Daylight". June 28, 2021. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  12. ^ "Diamond League | Eugene, OR (USA) | 20th - 21st August 2021 – Result lists" (PDF). Diamond League. August 21, 2021. p. 5. Retrieved August 21, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "Athing Mu caps an incredible year with a 1:55.04 American record". August 22, 2021. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  14. ^ "Athletics - Final Results - Women's 4x400 m relay (Tokyo, 2020)". IOC. Archived from the original on August 7, 2021. Retrieved August 7, 2021.