From raising show pigs on the family farm in tiny New Paris, Ohio, population 1,629, to a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, the USA’s Clayton Murphy capped an improbable rise with a remarkable race in the 800 meters on Monday.
Just 21 years old, Murphy ran the race of his life finishing that distance in 1 minute, 42.93 seconds, just behind silver medalist Taoufik Makhloufi (1:42.61) of Algeria and world record-holder and two-time gold medalist David Rudisha (1:42.15) of Kenya, who is perhaps the greatest runner ever in the 800.
Murphy’s 1:42.93 made him the third-fastest American ever, and buried his previous personal best (1:44.30).
“There was a little bit of plan to get out hard and go after it. But there wasn’t a super deadset plan. It was just to have fun with it,” Murphy said. “I knew we were out fast. … I was just going to keep pushing, pushing, pushing.”