Uganda’s Nakaayi Wins Women’s 800m at World Championships

Halimah Nakaayi (R) and Winnie Nanyondo (L) at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Two Ugandan athletes have made it to the final in women’s 800m World Championships, the first time a Ugandan has got to that level.

On Monday night, Halimah Nakaayi put up what is being referred to as the most energised session at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.

She won gold.

About 250 metres into the race, Nakaayi tucked in behind the pair and lodged herself comfortably.

Initially, American middle-distance runner, Ajee Wilson had taken command with Jamaica’s Natoya Goule closely in tow.

Nakaayi kept the pressure on, shadowing the American through the bend, seemingly waiting for the opportunity to pounce.

Wilson began to labour at the top of the home straight, giving Nakaayi an opening.

She took it with about 30 metres to go, chugged by and held on to reach the line in 1:58.04, a national record.

Raevyn Rogers also American, would finish second in 1:58.18, while Ajee finished in third place clocking 1:58.84.

Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo, came fourth having finished in 1:59.18. Together with Nakaayi, they did a celebratory dance in front of a swarming pool of photographers.

Nanyondo will Wednesday partake in the heats of the 1500m, arguably her stronger event.

“I was feeling so good, I knew something special was going to happen tonight,” said Nakaayi.

Her only previous big meet medal came at the All Africa Games in August, where she took bronze.

“So I just kept pushing and pushing. I was feeling strong and in the end I got it.”

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