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Mary Moraa: From Being Orphaned At Age 2 To Winning Medals For Kenya

Mary Moraa, born on June 15, 2000, is a Kenyan middle-distance athlete who has made a significant impact in the world of track and field, particularly in the 800 metres event.

Her journey from adversity to triumph serves as an inspiration to many.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Early Childhood

Growing up in Kisii, a region in western Kenya, Moraa’s early life was marked by tragedy.

Orphaned at just two years old due to the loss of both her parents, she was raised by her grandparents.

Despite the challenges she faced, Moraa discovered her passion for running, a talent that would not only shape her future but also provide her with an opportunity for education through an earned bursary.


Her athletic journey began in the 400 metres event.

She burst onto the international scene at the World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi, winning a silver medal with a remarkable personal best time.

Her dedication and perseverance were evident as she continued to improve her times and performances on various platforms.

In 2019, Moraa made a pivotal decision to transition to the 800 metres distance. Her decision bore fruit as she clinched titles at the African U20 Championships and the Kenyan senior championships, showcasing her versatility as an athlete.

Her impressive performance at the African Games solidified her reputation, and she even reached the semi-finals in the 400 metres at the Doha World Championships.

Despite her transition, Moraa found herself competing in the 400 metres event at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

While not advancing to the finals, her participation underscored her tenacity and determination on the global stage.

However, it was in 2022 that Moraa truly captured the world’s attention. Winning a bronze medal at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Her personal best time in the event highlighted her commitment to continuous improvement.

Just a short time later, Moraa secured a gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Notably, Moraa’s success extended to the Diamond League, where she emerged as the 800 metres champion in Zurich.

Recently, Mary Moraa ended Kenya’s 10-year wait for a World Championship gold medal in 800m when she ran a tactical race to floor defending champion Athing Mu of the United States in Sunday’s final in Budapest, Hungary.

With Mu and Hodgkinson threatening to spoil her party, Moraa kept her composure and never allowed her rivals space to claim the world title, clocking a personal best 1:56.03 with the Briton managing 1:56.04 to take sliver while the American had to settle for bronze in a time of 1:56.61.

Mary Moraa was admitted to the Kenya Police Service in 2021.