Uganda: Nakaayi Keeps Medal Hope After Record


World 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi wasn’t impressed with her display at the Monaco Diamond League (DL) Meeting in France on Friday.

But again, the Ugandan middle-distance runner can’t beat herself up especially after breaking her own national record (NR) over the two-lap race.

Nakaayi yielded a small step of consistency ahead of the Tokyo Olympics when she posted 1:58.03 seconds despite finishing a distant seventh.

“It has not been a good day for me, I am sure I can do better than that,” Nakaayi said via phone.

The 26-year-old beat her own NR mark of 1:58.04 set after powering to the 800m world title in September 2019 in Doha.

The previous NR before Doha was 1:58.63 set by her counterpart Winnie Nanyondo, who was fourth over 1500m.

Irrespective of her position in Monaco, Nakaayi will not feel entirely empty.

The race in Monaco appeared to have had a distraction when pacesetter Cuban Sahily Diago Mesa took the field to the 400m mark in 54.80 seconds. Yet, they had requested for 57 seconds to the bell.

The Ugandan reacted with 300m to go, curving out to lane 2 but when she attempted to kick in another gear with about 200m left, Briton Laura Muir’s physical obstructed her.

“It was a good race,” Nakaayi’s coach Addy Ruiter said. “She needs some extra speed so it will be easier for her in Tokyo to be more in front of the field after 200m. But everything is (moving) according to plan and there are no pacers in Tokyo and it will be tactical.

Monaco D. League

WOMEN’S 800M

1.Laura Muir GBR 1:56.73

2.Jemma Reekie GBR 1:56.96

3.Kate Grace USA 1:57.20

7.Halimah Nakaayi UGA 1:58.03

WOMEN’S 1500M

1.Faith Kipyegon KEN 3:51.07

2.Sifan Hassan NED 3:53.60

3.Freweyni Hailu ETH 3:56.28

4.Winnie Nanyondo UGA 4:01.18



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