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Athing Mu, reigning 800-meter gold medalist, will miss Paris Olympics after falling during U.S. trials

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Olympic gold medalist Athing Mu will miss the Paris Olympics after she fell during the women's 800-meter final at U.S. trials in Eugene, Oregon, on Monday. 

Mu, who won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, won't defend her title after she finished last in the final. The NBC Sports broadcast showed Mu appearing to trip about 200 meters into the race after getting tangled up with other runners. 

Track & Field: US Olympic Team Trials
Athing Mu falls on the first lap of the 800m final during the US Olympic Track and Field Team Trials. Craig Strobeck/USA TODAY Sports

Mu tried to get back in mix, but the lead became too insurmountable.

 While some of her fellow competitors erupted in joy following the race, Mu was seen crying and walking away from the track. 

2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field - Day 4
Athing Mu is seen tearing up after the women's 800 meter final of the U.S. Olympic Team Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field on Monday in Eugene, Oregon. Getty Images

Runner Nia Akins, who was in Mu's situation three years ago when she fell in the Olympics trials final, won the race and will head to Paris. It will be the first Olympics for the 25-year-old. 

"The sport is just crazy and unpredictable and tough," Akins told NBC Sports. "Nobody deserves that. (Mu) didn't deserve that today. I didn't deserve it three years ago."

"I wouldn't be here today without that happening to me then," she continued. "Honestly, it took me a while, but I'm super grateful for it. I learned a lot from it."

At the 2020 Tokyo Games, Mu, a native of Trenton, New Jersey who was 19 years old a the time, became the first American woman to win a gold medal in the 800 meters since the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. She also won gold in the 4X400 meter relay.

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